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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
08UNVIEVIENNA511
2008-09-16 17:36:00
SECRET
UNVIE
Cable title:  

IAEA/IRAN: P5+1 WILL TAKE CUES FROM POLDIRS ON

Tags:   AORC  IAEA  KNNP  IR 
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DE RUEHUNV #0511/01 2601736
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
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FM USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8421
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING IMMEDIATE 0730
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN IMMEDIATE 0686
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE 1000
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW IMMEDIATE 0761
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS IMMEDIATE 0857
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 1323
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
						S E C R E T UNVIE VIENNA 000511 

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR ISN/RA AND IO/T

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/15/2018
TAGS: AORC IAEA KNNP IR
SUBJECT: IAEA/IRAN: P5+1 WILL TAKE CUES FROM POLDIRS ON
BOARD RESOLUTION

REF: UNVIE 494 AND PREVIOUS

Classified By: Ambassador Gregory L. Schulte for
reasons 1.4 b and d

Summary
-------

S E C R E T UNVIE VIENNA 000511

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR ISN/RA AND IO/T

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/15/2018
TAGS: AORC IAEA KNNP IR
SUBJECT: IAEA/IRAN: P5+1 WILL TAKE CUES FROM POLDIRS ON
BOARD RESOLUTION

REF: UNVIE 494 AND PREVIOUS

Classified By: Ambassador Gregory L. Schulte for
reasons 1.4 b and d

Summary
--------------


1. (C) In a German-hosted P5 1 Ambassadors meeting on
September 16, no members of the group were instructed as to a
possible Iran resolution at next week's IAEA Board meeting,
and all awaited the scheduled September 19 5 1 Political
Directors meeting for guidance. While Germany appealed for a
Board resolution, Russia and China seemed to discount the
possibility of such a move. Based on this and other
consultations, Mission sees little scope for a successful
Board effort short of a clear pre-decision at the political
level to produce a resolution.


2. German Ambassador Ludeking made a valiant attempt,
rebuffed by Russia, to find commonality among P5 1 views and
argue for concerted Board action in support of the
Secretariat. Rather than the broader diplomatic context of
P5 1 negotiations, Ludeking enjoined P5 1 Ambassadors to
focus on the task at hand in Vienna, namely the Board's
response to the Director General's "disappointing" report and
how to "stimulate" Iranian cooperation. He also provided a
readout of FM Steinmeier's discussions the day before with
Iranian FM Mottaki, which went nowhere on nuclear issues.
Russian Ambassador Zmeyevsky provided a "different" reading
of the DG's report than the EU3 1, even expressing
"understanding" of Iran's position on the "alleged studies."
Ambassador Schulte rebutted these arguments, but Russia
continued to discount the weaponization issue. Chinese
Ambassador Tang provided a measured reaction to the DG's
report and expressed concern about the lack of substantive
progress on activities with military dimension. Seeking
common ground, Germany suggested a short technical resolution
reflecting the report to support the Secretariat. Russia was
not responsive to this and other EU3 arguments in support of
a resolution, citing the failure (for which it was largely
responsible) of past Board efforts to agree on a resolution.
Ambassador Schulte made a final appeal for P5 1 unity on

Iran, which Ludeking hoped could be demonstrated in the
Board. End Summary.

DG Reports "Dead End"
--------------


3. (C) German Ambassador Ludeking opened the P5 1 meeting by
providing a readout of FM Steinmeier's September 15
discussions with Iranian FM Mottaki, which he characterized
as disappointing and having gone nowhere on nuclear issues.
Instead, Mottaki wanted to address Georgia and investment in
Iran. Focusing on the task at hand in Vienna, Ludeking
sought input on IAEA Board aspects for the P5 1 PolDir
meeting on September 19. He explored the potential for Board
action in the face of a disappointing DG report and the clear
frustration of the Secretariat having reached a "dead end
street." More than gridlock or a stalemate, UK Ambassador
Smith argued that the Secretariat's unequivocal report made
clear Iran was to blame for the lack of progress. Ambassador
Schulte agreed that the report was universally negative on
all aspects of Iranian cooperation and called for sending an
unambiguous message to Iran. The issue was not one of
gridlock but of roadblocks set up by Iran. For France,
"disappointment" was an understatement, and the report fueled
a growing sense of urgency. Not only was there no progress
on anything, French DCM Gross noted, the report raised new
elements and also enumerated specific pragmatic measures Iran
could take. It called for "more than business as usual" by
the Board.

Russia Discounts Weaponization
--------------


4. (C) Russian and Chinese Ambassadors preferred to talk
about the broader context of negotiations and defer
decision-making to P5 1 PolDirs. Both provided a more
sanguine assessment of P5 1 talks with Iran, and noted
positive contacts with the European Commission
(Cooper-Velyati discussions) and the IAEA Secretariat. (Note:
The EU Commission rep in Vienna clarified that the EU was
still awaiting Iran's reaction to the P5 1 offer. End Note.)
China also cited Ahmadinejad's meeting with President Hu
Jintao during the Para-Olympics, and urged resumption of
negotiations.


5. (C) Regarding the DG's report, Russian Ambassador
Zmeyevsky insisted on a less negative reading and cited, as
an example, the non-diversion of declared nuclear material.
He noted some progress and the need to influence the process
positively. Russia would have preferred more progress, but
he counseled patience and expressed "understanding" for some
of Iran's arguments on the access to the "alleged studies"
documents and matters of national security. These were the
most difficult questions, he noted, and Iran was being asked
to prove a negative. Russia also underlined the need for
Board consensus and questioned whether the Secretariat sought
the Board's support. Chinese Ambassador Tang was more
measured in his comments, noting that China was still
studying the DG's report, and counseling time and patience.
There had been contacts between the Secretariat and Iran,
talks and quite a few visits, he observed. However, Tang
expressed concern about the lack of substantive progress on
activities with a military dimension. He also reported
Iranian Ambassador Soltineh's views on issues beyond the work
plan and conventional areas beyond Agency's scope.


6. (C) Ludeking discounted calls for patience on the part of
the P5 1, noting that he had been working on the issue since
2002 and patience had been the hallmark of EU3 endeavors, but
was not reciprocated by Iran. Ambassador Schulte further
noted that Iran had been presented with information on
weaponization since 2005, had dragged out the process through
the work plan, and still refused to address it using access
to the documents as an excuse. Iran had not even tried to
explain itself, he argued, and "contacts" (leaving inspectors
waiting in hotel rooms) do not constitute progress. Rather,
Iran's strategy in the Board was to question the credibility
of the documents, the integrity of the inspectors and the
mandate of the Agency on weaponizaiton. Zmeyevsky did not
agree with the U.S. assessment insisting that Iran had been
confronted with concrete information on weaponization not
long ago and that these were delicate issues for states to
address. The fact that these were "alleged" studies indicated
that wewere on shaky ground, he added.

Seeking Common Ground
--------------


7. (C) Ludeking sought to focus the discussion on Board
action noting that the Vienna P5 1 was not a forum to
comprehensively discuss the Iran issue. Common ground could
be found, he offered, on the need to "stimulate Iran's
cooperation with the Secretariat" and "doing something that
was conducive to a peaceful outcome" as Russia and China had
argued. Despite the failure of previous efforts to get a
resolution, Board action was appropriate at this time. There
was nothing positive in the report, he noted, and Iran had
done only the bare minimum on its Safeguards obligations and
nothing to comply with Board and UNSC obligations. Another
commonality was to support the Secretariat's work and
mandate. Ludeking proposed a brief resolution that reflected
the language in the summary of the DG's report. Within the
narrow context of Vienna, the UK added that Board pressure
(not just incentives) was one avenue for "stimulating
cooperation" and we should not miss this opportunity as doing
so would be a prescription for stalemate.


8. (C) Zmeyevsky countered that the UNSC had already
empowered the Secretariat with all it needed to pursue the
investigation, and took issue with EU3 1 characterizations of
the degree of Iranian cooperation, noting again that Iran
cannot prove a negative. He felt that the Board "taking note
of" the Secretariat's report would be enough but would report
the P5 1 discussion to capital. Zmeyevsky all but rejected
Ludeking's suggestion of a technical resolution by which the
Board would express itself on the report and give a boost to
the Secretariat. Three past efforts for a resolution had
failed, he observed, and "we must be realistic."


9. (C) France noted that Paris had hoped for Vienna's input
on a Board resolution for the PolDir discussions. Although
the P5 1 had failed in the past, there was language
reflecting the report that should be acceptable to the P5 1.
French DCM Gross also reported that the DG had told EU
Missions that a consensus Board resolution would be useful.
Zmeyevsky retorted that this was all a repeat of last time.
Ludeking concluded that the P5 1 Ambassadors could not make a
recommendation to PolDirs on a resolution, due to differing
views on what would be appropriate. He noted some points of
commonality, including on supporting the Secretariat.
Ambasassador Schulte made a final pitch for P5 1 unity and
resolve on Iran, notwithstanding disagreements on Georgia,
which Iran hoped to exploit to keep the pressure off.
Ludeking hoped that there could be a demonstration of such
unity in the Board.

--------------
Bilateral Meeting with Chinese
--------------


10. (C) Following the P5 1 meeting, Ambassador Schulte met
privately with Chinese Ambassador Tang. Ambassador Schulte
reviewed some of the same argumentation for a resolution just
covered in the broader meeting, and noted especially that
Iran will be looking for differences amongst the 5 1 to
exploit. It is important, therefore, that we all stay on
message stressing that the onus is squarely on Iran to meet
its obligations to the IAEA and UNSC. When queried on
China's views as how best to prompt Iran to be positive, Tang
rehearsed the same points as earlier, stressing that we must
keep focus on "big picture" and take no action in Vienna that
would set back our broader diplomacy. The one new twist Tang
offered is that perhaps we need "new ideas" for convincing
Iran to move forward with the Agency, and offered the idea of
a "a new work plan" at the IAEA as one possible example. In
response, Ambassador Schulte walked Tang through the history
of Iranian efforts to use the previous work plan to draw out
the IAEA process and delay consideration of the central
weaponization issues; unfortunately, a new work plan would
likely not be at all helpful.

--------------
Sept. 15 "Like-Minded" meeting
--------------


11. (C) Ambassador Schulte hosted a meeting of like-minded
counterparts (EU3, Australia, Canada, Japan, Italy and New
Zealand) just prior to the release of the Director General's
Iran report on September 15. Regarding a Board resolution on
Iran, all like-minded thought the underlying imperative and
rationale for a resolution would only be strengthened by the
then-pending DG's report. However, none of the like-minded
had instructions and all deferred any decision to the EU3 3
Political Directors meeting scheduled for later in the week.
Absent a high-level decision to table a resolution, France
said it would not engage further on a Board resolution in
Vienna. The like-minded anticipated that Russia would not be
keen on a resolution, with Germany cautioning that while a
Board resolution had value, this must be weighed against the
cost of breaking Board consensus. UK made similar comments.
Canada, Japan and New Zealand discounted any chance of a
meaningful consensus resolution; Australia was also generally
negative on the prospect for a Board resolution. Canada and
Italy also noted, however, that the September Board would be
the last chance to pursue a resolution before the Board
composition changed next month. (Note: After the September
General Conference, Cuba, Egypt and Malaysia will be on the
Board. End Note.)

--------------
Arabs/Others
--------------


12. (C) Ambassador Schulte also hosted a separate meeting
with Arab group and NAM Ambassadors (Albania, Algeria, Egypt,
Iraq, Malaysia, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia) as well as
the UK. Quoting from the "Financial Times" article on this
being the "most damning" report on Iran, Ambassador Schulte
stressed the lack of progress and Iranian cooperation on any
front. The UK also underlined the dissatisfaction of the
Secretariat with Iranian cooperation and the need for serious
consideration of the weaponization information. The first
question from the group was whether a Board resolution was
contemplated. Morocco asked about the status of the P5 1 and
Iranian offers and noted Iran's lack of cooperation with
Agency and the need to respect Board and UNSC decisions.
Algerian Ambassador Feroukhi(the next Board Chair) noted that
most of the report focused on weaponization and tried to spin
this as proof of Iran's responsivess to IAEA questions.
Ambassador Schulte explained that this was not the case.
Egypt cast the report in the context of "two Middle Easts"
and the double-standard with Israel. Finally, Pakistan asked
why the weaponization documents could not be shared with
Iran. Overall, there seemed to be little movement on the
part of Arab group and NAM positions. We have also learned
separately that the NAM statement to the Board on Iran will
quote the July Tehran Ministerial Declaration.

--------------
Comment and Recommendation
--------------


13. (C) The rationale and imperative for Board action via a
new resolution on Iran has only deepened in light of the
Director General's report (septel). But it is clear that the
content of this latest report has not changed the Vienna
dynamic on a prospective resolution. Per the above, there
seems strong consensus among the like-minded in Vienna that a
clear P5 1 decision at the political level is a necessary
precondition for beginning negotiations on a resolution text
here. Absent such instructions from the political-level, we
can put the best face on strong national statements and by
perhaps pursuing further action at the UNSC. We can also use
a possible Board resolution on Libya to generate points for
our diplomacy and press guidance that hightlight the stark
contrast between Iranian (and Syrian) and Libyan behavior,
noting the different outcomes to date of the IAEA
investigation and international reaction. But another
successful effort to push through a resolution on Iran that
Russia opposes would not be helpful to our goal here of
supporting the IAEA's investigation.
SCHULTE