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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06BRUSSELS1512 2006-05-05 15:38:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Brussels
Cable title:  

(C) BELGIANS CONCERNED ABOUT DETAINED IRANIAN

Tags:   PHUM PREL IR BE AU CA 
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VZCZCXRO5706
OO RUEHAG
DE RUEHBS #1512 1251538
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 051538Z MAY 06
FM AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS
TO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA IMMEDIATE 0142
RUEHDE/AMCONSUL DUBAI IMMEDIATE 0015
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL IMMEDIATE 0093
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1793
					  					
C O N F I D E N T I A L BRUSSELS 001512

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/05/2016
TAGS: PHUM PREL IR BE AU CA
SUBJECT: (C) BELGIANS CONCERNED ABOUT DETAINED IRANIAN
ACADEMIC: LOW PROFILE REQUESTED


Classified By: Charge d'Affaires William Imbrie. Reasons: 1.4 (b) and
(d).

1, (C) Summary: Belgian Officials remain concerned about the
situation of Iranian academic Ramin Jehanbegloo (a Canadian
citizen) who was detained on his way to Brussels to attend
the German Marshall Fund conference. They are following the
case closely but EU President Austria has the lead, including
in Teheran, where EU missions are closely coordinating, and
along with the Canadians quietly in touch with the Iranians.
The family has told the Austrians that they are in touch with
the authorities and with Jehanbegloo in detention and plead
that this not be made a public issue for nw. The EU and
Belgians agree, and we urge ther wishes be respected. End
summary.



2. (C) Belgian PM Diplomatic Advisor Chris Hoornaert
approached DCM Aril 27 on the margins of the German Marshall
Fund conference (septel) to report that the Belgian
government had received an inquiry from the family of Ramin
Jehanbegloo, the sole conference invitee from Iran.
Jehanbegloo had gone to the airport to fly to Brussels, but
had not been heard from since. On May 4, we provided the
Hoornaert and the MFA with U.S. press information from an
Iranian news agency that the Teheran had announced
Jehanbegloo had been arrested and was being held in Evin
prison. We noted this was another example of poor Iranian
human rights behavior.



3. (C) MFA Middle East Deputy Marie-Antoinette Simons
called embassy May 5 to report that information had begun to
emerge on Jehanbegloo's situation early in the week. Now
international attention was growing, and Iranian press was
beginning to make very negative comments about Jehanbegloo.
She noted Jehanbegloo had obtained an Austrian Schengen visa,
which he needed in order to leave the country, as he was also
due to speak at the Bruno Kreisky Forum. He was picked up by
Iranian authorities after he had checked in to his flight to
Europe. As soon as they learned about this the EU Heads of
Mission (HOMS) in Teheran convened, on May 2. The Italian
Ambassador urged action as he saw this a new move against the
intelligentsia; the Austrian urged caution. EU HOMS report
that the Canadian ambassador in Teheran is viewed with deep
suspicion by the Iranians.



4. (C) Simons relayed that the issue has since been
discussed in the EU COHOM, its Human Rights Committee in
Brussels. The Austrian presidency was in contact with his
family. The family was in touch with Iranian authorities and
had regular contact with Jehanbegloo himself in prison, who
was apparently in no physical danger. The family was very
upset about all the attention the case is receiving, as they
believed they could resolve the situation with the
authorities. They pleaded for the international community to
refrain from raising this publicly. The Austrians, Italians
and Canadians continue quietly to engage with Iran. The
family asked that this be the only engagement for now. The
EU and the Belgians agree with the family.



5. (C) Comment: We recommend that we comply with the
Jehanbegloo family's request that we not discuss this in
public.
IMBRIE
.