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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06USUNNEWYORK581 2006-03-23 18:36:00 CONFIDENTIAL USUN New York
Cable title:  

UN/GERMANY: STATE SECRETARY PFLUGER ON IRAN, LATIN

Tags:   PREL PHUM UNSC KUNR GM IR 
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SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/22/2011
TAGS: PREL PHUM UNSC KUNR GM IR
SUBJECT: UN/GERMANY: STATE SECRETARY PFLUGER ON IRAN, LATIN
AMERICA AND UN REFORM


Classified By: Ambassador John R. Bolton, Permanent Representative,
for reasons 1.4 b,d.



1. (C) Summary. Ambassador Bolton discussed Iran, Latin
America and UN reform initiatives, including the recently
formed Human Rights Council, with German State Secretary
Freidbert Pfluger on March 20. Pfluger reiterated Germany's
steadfast support for efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining
nuclear weapons, but expressed concern that the Council would
be unable to maintain consensus at later stages, particularly
if military action were required to enforce Iranian
compliance. Ambassador Bolton noted that the future course
of events would be determined by whether Iran makes the
strategic decision to abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
End Summary.



2. (C) Ambassador Bolton met with German Member of Parliament
and State Secretary Freidbert Pfluger on March 20, during Dr.
Pfluger's two-day visit to New York. Pfluger asked for an
update on the Iran discussions within the Security Council,
noting that the German Government has been clear that Iran
cannot be allowed to have nuclear weapons. He noted recent
comments by the Iranian President calling for the destruction
of Israel and Iran's "support for terror all over." Pfluger
expressed appreciation for President Bush's decision to
support the EU3 negotiation process, but expressed concern
about what steps would follow a Security Council statement.
"Do we have the will or the means?" he asked, to stop Iran's
march towards nuclear weapons capability.



3. (C) Ambassador Bolton responded the U.S. had been clear,
at the highest levels, that Iran must not be allowed to
possess nuclear weapons. The Security Council now needs to
send a strong, unified message to Iran. The next steps would
be determined by Iran's response to the Council's action. If
Iran made the strategic decision to abandon its pursuit of
nuclear weapons, then we would expect a quick return to
negotiations. However, absent such a strategic decision, the
Council would have to consider further measures to increase
the pressure on Tehran, including sanctions targeted at the
regime leaders and their strategic weapons programs.
Referring to press reporting on former Iranian negotiator
Hassan Rowhani's statements, Ambassador Bolton noted that the
Iranians had admitted taking advantage of the negotiation
process to date to advance their nuclear weapons program.
The United States has sought to move the discussion to the
Security Council for years, as the Council has the ability to
increase the political pressure on Iran. But the Council
needs to act quickly, as Iran is using the current delay to
"draw in" developing countries with oil and gas deals and the
deliberate mischaracterization of the dispute as an attempt
to deny Iran "its right" to peaceful nuclear energy.



4. (C) Pfluger asked if the recently announced U.S.-India
civilian nuclear energy deal would have an impact on our
collective ability to deal with the Iranian threat.
Ambassador Bolton said that there would not be any "real
world spillover." The two governments bore no comparison to
one another -- India was seeking to move towards the IAEA,
while Iran is making a deliberate, strategic choice to move
away from the non-proliferation regime, having signed and
then broken its NPT commitments. Iran's actions posed a real
threat of proliferation, in the region and beyond.



5. (C) Pfluger noted that he had been in Washington with
Chancellor Merkel and that the Chancellor had sought to
"restore the balance" to the German-U.S. relationship. "No
more axis with Russia and France," he said. He expressed
concern, however, that support and sympathy for the U.S.
continued to decrease among European publics, which he
thought would undermine our shared objective in fighting
Islamic terrorism. He also said that the U.S. and Europe
needed to pay more attention to the current situation in
Latin America, which he called "very scary." The combination
of the aggressive policies of Venezuelan President Chavez ("a
real big danger") and the fact that democracy is "not deeply
rooted" risks a retreat from liberal values and institutions
in Latin America.



6. (C) On the recent vote to establish a Human Rights Council
(HRC) over U.S. objections, Pfluger noted that he thought the
"absolute majority" requirement for membership would
successfully keep the worst outlaws off the Council. In
response to Pfluger's question on U.S. plans, Ambassador
Bolton noted that the U.S. was still evaluating the
situation, but noted that the new Council reduced the number
of seats available to western nations by thirty percent.
Pfluger asked about the prospects for a permanent German seat
on the Security Council. Ambassador Bolton replied that
Germany was in a difficult position, given that it was
seeking a third permanent seat for Europe. In the typical UN
way of doing business, a third EU seat would require the

"trade-off" of adding a number of permanent seats from other
regions, leading to overly large enlargement proposals that
put at risk the efficiency and effectiveness of the Council.
The U.S. continues to believe that there are other higher
priorities for UN reform, including upcoming Secretariat and
mandate reform efforts, and that - as a first rule - any
effort to expand the Security Council must "do no harm."
BOLTON