2005-05-12 11:03:00
Embassy Paris
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S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 003234 


E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/11/2015

Classified By: CDA: Alejandro D. Wolff for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 003234


E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/11/2015

Classified By: CDA: Alejandro D. Wolff for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (S) SUMMARY: MFA Political Director Laboulaye discussed
with Charge May 11 the EU-3 letter to Rohani warning against
resumption of uranium conversion. Laboulaye said that it may
be necessary to convene an extraordinary meeting of the IAEA
board and stressed the need to build international consensus,
particularly with Russia and China, in dealing with the
Iranian threat. END SUMMARY.

2. (S) In a May 11 meeting with Charge, MFA Political
Director Stanislas de Laboulaye shared the letter from EU-3
Foreign Ministers and High Representative Solana to Iranian
Supreme National Security Council Secretary Hassan Rohani
(text in para 9). Laboulaye said that the letter had been
delivered in Tehran May 11. Laboulaye added that EU-3
Ambassadors had met with El Baradei in Vienna who had
generally approved of the letter, but had been critical of
the threatening tone, saying that it should have offered some
carrots. Laboulaye said that the Iranians had missed an
opportunity to take advantage of EU-3 offers for cooperation,
e.g. on civilian nuclear programs, but had chosen instead to
block such offers. He said "we have proof" that Iranian
enrichment had nothing to do with civilian programs.

3. (S) Laboulaye said that El Baradei had been useful during
the NPT conference in New York, meeting with the Iranians on
the margins. Other countries, with the notable exception of
Venezuela, had also ensured that the Iranians knew that
international pressure was strong. Laboulaye continued that
Russia had been helpful, sharing the view of the danger posed
by Iranian nuclear programs. He said that Deputy Foreign
Minister Kislyak was intending to travel to Tehran to urge
the Iranians not to do anything "stupid." Laboulaye noted,
however that Moscow saw Iran as their client, and preferred
not to have the EU-3 at the center of Iran's foreign policy.
The Russians, he said, constantly wanted to know what the
EU-3 was saying to Tehran.

4. (S) Laboulaye expected that the Iranians would send a
letter to the IAEA, possibly inviting representatives to

visit Tehran or Isfahan to witness the breaking of the seals.
Laboulaye was unsure whether Iran intended to resume
conversion immediately, but noted this could happen as early
as May 14 which would create a difficult moment. Laboulaye
said that if conversion did not resume immediately, the
strategy should be to work with El Baradei to gain time. The
EU-3, he said, was pressing for a meeting with Rohani in two
weeks, probably in Brussels on May 23, and hoped that Iran
would not take action before then.

5. (S) Laboulaye said that the EU-3 would seek an
extraordinary meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors, either
when the Iranians sent their letter or when the seals were
broken. The purpose of that meeting, he said, would be to
tell the Iranians to get back in compliance with the November
2004 Paris agreement "or else." Laboulaye acknowledged that
it was the "or else" which would be difficult to draft. The
next step, would be a second meeting of the IAEA, currently
scheduled for June 13 (just prior to the June 17 Iranian
election) which would take the decision to refer the matter
to the UNSC.

6. (S) Laboulaye stressed that for the process to work
through the UNSC, it would be essential to develop an
international consensus, something which was only possible if
it could be shown that the EU-3 had been straightforward and
strong, and had tried everything reasonable to prevent Iran's
resumption of enrichment-related activities. He said that
there were two weeks to build such a consensus and that it
was particularly important to get Russia on board, as
Russia's position was central to the Chinese position.

7. (S) Laboulaye speculated that Tehran might not go beyond
conversion activities, which in itself was a "gray area."
Elaborating, he said that conversion had not been covered in
the 2003 IAEA definition of enrichment activity, and it was
only after the EU-3/Iran meetings in Brussels and Paris in
February and November 2004 that the EU-3 had succeeded in
enlarging the definition to include conversion. However, he
cautioned, some could consider that conversion did not amount
to enrichment, and the Iranians were fully aware of this gray
area. It was for this reason, Laboulaye said, that the EU-3
letter referred to the Paris agreement.

8. (S) Laboulaye said that the EU-3 had not decided whether
an Iranian letter of intent, or the actual breaking of the
seals would be the trigger for the exceptional IAEA meeting.
The GoF would need to weigh the pros and cons. Expressing a
personal view, Laboulaye said that waiting for the seals to
be lifted would probably be too late, but there would have to
consensus among the international community in Vienna.


Following the recent discussions between our negotiating
teams in London, and contacts in New York, we are writing to
underline the importance the governments of France, Germany
and the United Kingdom, with the support of the High
Representative of the European Union, attach to continuing
negotiations within the framework agreed to in Paris in
November 2004.

We welcome Iran's continued voluntary suspension of all
enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, and emphasize
that sustaining that suspension, while negotiations on a
long-term agreement are under way, is essential for the
continuation of the overall process agreed in Paris, and
necessary to respect the IAEA Board resolution of 28 November


We recall that since our common declaration issued in Tehran
on 21 October 2003, the Europeans have kept the question of
the Iranian program in the IAEA.

In the light of this, we were concerned by the statements
made by a number of senior Iranian officials suggesting that
some activities covered by the voluntary suspension might
soon be re-started. Iran should be in no doubt that any such
change to the suspension would be a clear breach of the Paris
Agreement and of the IAEA resolutions. It would bring the
negotiating process to an end. The consequences beyond could
only be negative for Iran.

We do not believe that Iran needs to take such a step. Though
we understand and share your desire for progress and the
earliest possible resolution, these hopes need to be placed
in the context of the complexity of the issues in question.
Given the starting positions of the two sides, they will
inevitably take time to complete.

The dialogue has already brought benefits. This is progress
that we should build on. We believe that we can use the
negotiations not only to resolve the nuclear issue, but also
to improve the future relationship between Iran and Europe.
To this end our strong preference would be to continue
discussions in good faith to find mutually acceptable
objective guarantees on the nuclear question, and to provide
firm guarantees on nuclear, technological and economic
cooperation and firm commitments on security issues. In
particular, we are ready for further discussions in the field
of nuclear supply for Iran's power generation program. We
are also ready to discuss further a political and security
frame work.

More broadly, the EU's negotiations with Iran on a Trade and
Cooperation Agreement and a Political Dialogue Agreement
continue and we hope that we will make further progress at
the next round of discussions in Brussels on 17 May. We are
also looking forward to giving continuing European support to
Iran's entry into the world Trade Organization. This sort of
progress will be jeopardized if Iran now moves away from the
Paris Agreement.

In order to pursue our discussions, it may be useful if we
were to meet you in the next fortnight. We suggest that
until then no steps are taken that could undermine the
process. END TEXT.