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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
08UNVIEVIENNA240
2008-04-25 13:41:00
CONFIDENTIAL
UNVIE
Cable title:  

IAEA/IRAN: FRANCE PUSHES P5+1 FOR AN EXPERTS

Tags:   PARM  AORC  KNPP  IAEA  IR 
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VZCZCXYZ0001
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHUNV #0240/01 1161341
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 251341Z APR 08
FM USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7843
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 0696
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN PRIORITY 0628
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0930
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 0687
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0785
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1205
						C O N F I D E N T I A L UNVIE VIENNA 000240 

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DEPT FOR ISN/RA. IO/T

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/22/2018
TAGS: PARM AORC KNPP IAEA IR
SUBJECT: IAEA/IRAN: FRANCE PUSHES P5+1 FOR AN EXPERTS
MEETING

REF: UNVIE 185 AND PREVIOUS

Classified By: Charge d'Affairs Geoffrey R. Pyatt for
reasons 1.4 b,d and h

C O N F I D E N T I A L UNVIE VIENNA 000240

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DEPT FOR ISN/RA. IO/T

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/22/2018
TAGS: PARM AORC KNPP IAEA IR
SUBJECT: IAEA/IRAN: FRANCE PUSHES P5+1 FOR AN EXPERTS
MEETING

REF: UNVIE 185 AND PREVIOUS

Classified By: Charge d'Affairs Geoffrey R. Pyatt for
reasons 1.4 b,d and h


1. (C) Summary: At a French-hosted meeting April 22, P5 1
COMs exchanged views on Iran developments post-Shanghai and
expectations for forthcoming Iran-IAEA discussions on
weaponization. The UK, Germany and U.S. were skeptical of
this latest development while Russia and China predictably
highlighted positive progress in Shanghai as well as on the
Iran-IAEA front. The U.S. also raised the prospect of a
Board resolution in June but neither Russia nor China
engaged. Following up on their PolDir's proposal, France
attempted to get P5 1 agreement for an experts meeting in
Vienna and proposed May 6 or May 14 as possible dates, but
now expects the date may slip to May 24. Russia and China
sought more specificity on the topics to be discussed and
disputed both the purpose and the timing of such a meeting in
advance of the next DG report, or even the next Board. The
UK pushed back arguing that the P5 1 experts could produce
their own "progress report" independent of the Secretariat's
investigation. Russia was more receptive to the U.S.
suggestion that the purpose of an experts meeting would be to
support the Secretariat, but noted that the Secretariat had
been reluctant to engage the P5 1 experts last year. It was
clear that Russia and China's Vienna Ambassadors remain a
hard sell on any P5 1 (or P5) experts meeting, particularly
on weaponization, despite the Shanghai PolDir's discussion.
France intends to demarche Moscow and Beijing. End Summary.

Expectations of Iran-IAEA Engagement
--------------


2. (C) French Ambassador Deniau called the meeting as part of
what he hoped would be regular P5 1 consultations in Vienna
and sought to take stock of developments post-Shanghai.
Speaking under instructions, Deniau relayed the French
suggestion at the Shanghai P5 1 PolDir meeting that an
expert-level meeting be held in Vienna. The purpose, he
said, would be to review developments since the last such

consultations in June 2007.


3. (C) In addition to the Shanghai outcome, German Ambassador
Gottwald hoped to exchange views on Vienna developments,
particularly Iran's agreement to address weaponization issues
with the Secretariat. This seemed to be a "dramatic
turnaround," though he noted that Iran did not have much of a
choice given the DG's upcoming report to the UNSC and Board
of Governors. Germany would be "highly surprised" if Iran so
dramatically changed course and divulged a weapons program.
The UK agreed with Germany and noted there was nothing to
give "huge" encouragement that great progress would be made.
At a minimum, UK Ambassador Smith said, Iran has agreed to
answer the Secretariat's questions -- the least one could
expect -- but much will depend on the quality of Iran's
engagement. As with previous reports, Smith expected that
the DG's next report would be "grey", noting progress in some
areas but unable to draw conclusions.


4. (C) The U.S. agreed that Iran's renewed "engagement" is
consistent with its past efforts to appear cooperative when
faced with the prospect of Board or UNSC censure. Nuclear
Counselor noted that PolDirs had discussed possible
activities in Vienna during while in Shanghai. Charge
confirmed that a Board resolution on Iran would be an
important U.S. priority at the June Board, and explained our
desire to coordinate closely with the other P5 1. France did
not rule out a Board resolution, contingent on the content of
the DG's next report, and added that a resolution in June
would be easier as no UNSC action is anticipated. Germany
also agreed to consider and prepare for a Board resolution in
June, though the content would depend on the DG's report.


5. (C) Neither Russia nor China addressed the prospect of
Board resolution in June. China predictably focused on the
positive progress of the Shanghai meeting, and the package to
be finalized in the London Ministerial. The most important
thing was to encourage Iran to negotiate, Chinese Ambassador
Tang observed, and to continue cooperation with the IAEA.
Tang related that ElBaradei confirmed to him that Iran had
agreed to clarify the "alleged studies" by May. Russian
Ambassador Zmeyevsky also highlighted the positive
developments and positive signs from Iran.


Purpose/Timing of Experts Meeting
--------------


6. (C) According to the French, prior to the P5 1 meeting,
the Chinese Mission claimed it had not been advised of any
PolDir agreement in Shanghai to an experts meeting in Vienna.
France demarched China on the subject. At the P5 1 meeting,
Tang claimed he still did not have instructions and
questioned the subject matter of such an experts meeting.
Reading from his instructions, Deniau explained that experts
would review the status of Iran's nuclear program since the
June 2007 meeting, including developments on enrichment, the
work plan, and Iran's answers on the "alleged studies."


7. (C) Russia disputed both the content and timing of an
experts meeting. If Russia were to agree to a meeting,
Zmeyevsky said he would need more specificity on this wide
range of topics in order to bring the appropriate experts. He
also questioned the mandate of such a group. As to the
timing, Russia argued that it would need information from the
next DG report to discuss the "alleged studies" and suggested
holding an experts meeting after the June Board. France
countered that since June 2007, there had been three DG
reports and all the while Iran continued to make progress on
enrichment. There would always be a next report or a next
Board session, Deniau observed, and experts should meet in
advance of the June Board. Russia insisted that an experts'
discussion would be inappropriate before the DG has provided
his assessment (i.e. of weaponization), and that such a
discussion should not be based on past assessments.


8. (C) China also contended that there were too many topics,
some of which were more technical than political, and that
such a meeting should have a result. Tang noted that last
year's experts meeting had been focused on enrichment issues,
and had produced consensus. China questioned the timing of
an experts' meeting, arguing that the P5 1 should wait for
the DG report to have more information, a clearer picture and
more to talk about.


9. (C) The UK agreed with France on the pretext of waiting
for the next Board or report. Smith argued that the purpose
of an experts meeting would be for the P5 1 to take stock of
ongoing programs in Iran, and offer our own "progress
report." The P5 1's assessment would not be tied to that of
the Agency and could be discussed at any time, he said. If
the P5 1 were to wait for the DG report, he noted there would
only be a few days before the June Board meeting. France
underlined that this was an expert level meeting to address
technical issues such as Iran's new centrifuge design. An
experts meeting probably should have been held in late
February after Heinonen's technical briefing on
weaponization, Deniau noted, arguing that a meeting take
place at the earliest opportunity and not be linked to the
next DG report.


Experts to Support the Secretariat
--------------


10. (C) Russia further questioned the purpose of an experts
meeting and whether it would be productive. The U.S.
observed that such a meeting would allow the P5 1 to reach a
common understanding of information on Iran's nuclear program
in advance of the June Board. Charge explained that the
experts could support DDG Heinonen's investigation and help
the Secretariat achieve a holistic understanding of Iran's
nuclear program. The bottom line objective, he said, would
be to support the Secretariat in its efforts to get full
disclosure from Iran. Although he had no instructions,
Gottwald was enthusiastic about the idea of supporting the
Secretariat's investigation and exchanging information at the

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expert level.


11. (C) Zmeyevsky said he needed to report to capital but
agreed that it would be helpful to support the Secretariat.
He noted, however, that the Secretariat had been reluctant to
meet with the P5 1 experts last June. Russia would also need
more specificity on what experts would discuss.


12. (C) France was open to the idea of the Secretariat
briefing the P5 1, but saw a P5 1 experts meeting as useful
of its own accord. This was the spirit in which the French

PolDir had made the proposal in Shanghai. There was already
a large amount of information for experts to digest since
their last meeting a year ago, and numerous topics to be
covered. The French proposed holding an experts meeting on
May 6 or May 14, and would make a demarche to that effect in
the other P5 1 capitals. Charge informed the P5 1 of U/S
Rood's visit to Vienna on May 6, and suggested that this
would be a good opportunity to exchange views after the
London Ministerial. French DCM Gross subsequently confirmed
that France would demarche Moscow and Beijing, and suggested
that the date of the experts meeting may have to slip until
May 24, which would presumably be after the next DG report.


13. (C) In a private discussion on April 25, Heinonen
indicated to Msnoff a willingness to consult with P5 states,
perhaps separately, on weaponization, but did not seem
willing to request or participate in a formal IAEA-P5 1
experts discussion. He mused, however, that perhaps the
experts could meet amongst themselves and then could have a
"social outing" somewhere with Heinonen and IAEA
weaponization expert Chris Hutchison. As to timing, Heinonen
was under the impression that any experts meeting would
happen in early May, but professed not to have been engaged
with the French on planning for such a meeting.

Comment
--------------


14. (C) The French probably made a tactical error in casting
their net too broadly, seeking an experts meeting on
everything under the sun. The UK agreed afterward that we
should probably narrow the scope but doubted that Russia and
China would be ready to participate in a P5 1 (or P5) experts
discussion of weaponization. Russia and China are likely to
continue to drag their feet if the premise of the experts
meeting is to have a P5 1 exchange on this issue. However,
they might be persuaded to participate in such consultations
if they included a meeting, even if "social," with the
Secretariat/Heinonen.

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