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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
07VATICAN138 2007-09-28 16:42:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vatican
Cable title:  

A/S DESUTTER ENGAGES HOLY SEE ON NONPROLIFERATION,

Tags:   PARM PREL IAEA MNUC KNNP IR VT IS 
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1. (C) Summary: Assistant Secretary for Verification,
Compliance, and Implementation Paula DeSutter, in a September 13
meeting with Holy See Deputy Foreign Minister-equivalent
Monsignor Pietro Parolin, reviewed the status of various arms
control negotiations currently underway and stressed the
importance of having verifiable agreements. Parolin told A/S
DeSutter that Iran is seeking to engage the Holy See on many
fronts and suggested that the Holy See might be able to play a
constructive role in the current Iranian weapons of mass
destruction (WMD) discussions. Parolin indicated that in
addition to nonproliferation, the Holy See would like to see
increased emphasis on disarmament within the international
community. A/S DeSutter briefed Parolin on the USG's views
regarding Iran's nuclear aims, emphasizing that Iran's actions
were distinguishable from other nuclear powers because it had
purposely violated its commitments by signing a nonproliferation
treaty while secretly pursuing a nuclear program. A/S DeSutter
said a successful outcome to the Iranian matter was extremely
important, as many other countries with nuclear ambitions would
take lessons from the outcome. End Summary.





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Holy See: Not Just Nonproliferation, But Disarmament Also



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2. (C) Assistant Secretary for Verification, Compliance, and
Implementation Paula DeSutter, meeting September 13 with Holy
See Deputy Foreign Minister-equivalent Monsignor Pietro Parolin,
reviewed the status of various arms control issues currently
being deliberated, including negotiations on the Conventional
Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty; post-START talks with the Russian
Federation (the reason for which A/S DeSutter was in Rome); the
Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT); and the draft Russian
treaty on weapons in space. She emphasized that verification is
a key component of any effective treaty and noted that users'
intent was impossible to verify, given that many nuclear items
are dual use items. A/S DeSutter also emphasized the need to
take meaningful actions, such as the need to establish a biodata
registry, as opposed to "feel good" agreements that do not
change anything or advance arms control goals. For his part,
Parolin emphasized that WMD disarmament must go hand-in-hand
with nonproliferation. Referring to Pope Benedict's July 22nd
Angelus in Lorenzago di Cadore, Italy, Parolin said that the
Holy See views war as "senseless slaughter" and that, to avoid
war, there must be balanced and controlled disarmament in
conjunction with nonproliferation. Parolin added, "there does
not seem to be a big commitment to disarmament within the
international community."





3. (C) A/S DeSutter emphasized that the nonproliferation
treaties the U.S. and others signed call for both
non-proliferation and for eventual disarmament. However, some
signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT),
having promised not to proliferate, are going against their
commitments. She noted that Israel, Pakistan, and Indian did not
sign the NPT, but Iran was a signatory.





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Iran: There is a "Double Standard" on WMD Nonproliferation



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4. (C) Parolin said that the Holy See had discussed
non-proliferation with Iran, insisting on the need for
compliance on the NPT while expressing a desire for a peaceful
resolution to the conflict. Parolin noted that while the
Iranians appeared open to negotiations on this issue, they
expressed their dissatisfaction with the international
community's apparent double standard toward Iran in view of the
international community's treatment of other nuclear powers such
as Israel.





5. (C) A/S DeSutter explained that Iran had purposely committed

VATICAN 00000138 002.2 OF 002


a 20-year long falsehood by signing a nonproliferation treaty
and benefiting from technology transfer under that treaty while
secretly pursuing a nuclear program. "That sets Iran apart from

SIPDIS
other powers," said A/S DeSutter. The United States draws a
clear distinction between those who cheat on commitments and
those who play by the rules. "Iran took advantage of the
situation," and as a result gained many benefits including
technological assistance and favorable trade relations with some
countries; if Iran gets away with this, others will note the
results and follow, said A/S DeSutter. The issue of how to
punish violators is very important since sanctions can cause
short-term financial hardships on the countries imposing the
sanctions. Nevertheless, the long-term potential cost of
losing this important nonproliferation regime far outweighs any
short-term loss of trade.





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Holy See: Iran Wants to Talk



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6. (C) Parolin said that the Holy See has observed some
movement within Iran towards moderation. While President
Ahmadinejad presents certain challenges, others within Iran are
more pragmatic and do not necessarily agree with Ahmadinejad.
Iran has approached us, said Parolin, and indicated an eagerness
to have a dialogue with the Holy See on diplomatic, political,
and religious issues.





7. (C) Parolin told us that Pope Benedict favored engaging Iran
and had observed that there are many common areas for
discussions including culture, economic development, and human
rights. We welcome the chance to discuss these matters with
Iran, said Parolin.





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Perhaps the Holy See Can Help?



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8. (C) In response to Parolin's query regarding U.S. hopes for
a resolution to the Iranian WMD situation, A/S DeSutter said
there is a great deal of hope, but it would take more than
diplomatic pressure to change Iran at this juncture; economic
pressure including sanctions will be necessary. She added that
we need to make the Iranian people aware of their government's
detrimental actions because so far the Iranian government has
hidden this matter from them. Parolin indicated that the Holy
See was willing to play a role in helping the international
community with Iran in this endeavor.





9. (U) A/S DeSutter did not have a chance to review and clear
on this cable.
SANDROLINI