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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09MOSCOW1649 2009-06-23 09:08:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow
Cable title:  

MOSCOW SAYS IRANIAN ELECTION AN INTERNAL AFFAIR

Tags:   PGOV PREL IR RS 
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VZCZCXRO6515
PP RUEHAG RUEHBC RUEHDBU RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
RUEHTRO
DE RUEHMO #1649 1740908
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 230908Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3937
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 001649 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/23/2019
TAGS: PGOV PREL IR RS
SUBJECT: MOSCOW SAYS IRANIAN ELECTION AN INTERNAL AFFAIR

REF: YEKATERINBURG 36

Classified By: Acting Political Counselor David Kostelancik for reasons
1.4 (b/d).



1. (U) Moscow has steered clear of the controversy over
Iran's June 12 Presidential election, waiting until June 22
for the MFA to release a brief statement declaring the
election a "purely internal affair." The statement did
acknowledge that the election was being "challenged by other
contenders" for the Presidency, who had the support of
"certain portions of Iranian society." This situation had
led to a dispute over the election outcome that should be
resolved in accordance with Iranian law. Until the release
of this statement, official Russian reaction to the election
had been limited to DFM Ryabkov's June 15 comment to
reporters covering the Shanghai Cooperation Organization
(SCO) summit in Yekaterinburg, to whom he said that the
"elections are an internal affair of the Iranian people."
Ryabkov also welcomed the "newly elected President" of Iran
to Yekaterinburg, where Ahmadinejad gave a June 16 address to
the SCO summit and had a short meeting with Medvedev (reftel).



2. (C) MFA Iran Section Chief Maxim Baranov told us on June
22 that Medvedev and Ahmadinejad met for only ten minutes on
the margins of the SCO summit. They had been scheduled for a
one-and-a-half hour meeting on June 15 that was to have
covered a range of bilateral and regional issues, until
Ahmadinejad delayed his arrival because of the situation at
home. DFM Ryabkov separately told a visiting U.S. delegation
that Medvedev had "some major issues to discuss" with
Ahmadinejad, and the GOR was disappointed that the longer
meeting had not taken place.



3. (C) Despite the GOR's official line on the Iranian
election, Baranov said that some MFA officials were troubled
by what appeared to be voting irregularities in Iran, such as
reports that Ahmadinejad had won majority Azeri regions over
his ethnically Azeri opponent, former PM Mousavi. Baranov
did not think that possible irregularities meant that
Ahmadinejad had lost the election, but that he may not have
won by as large a margin as Iranian authorities claimed.
Furthermore, Baranov said that MFA officials were "not
satisfied" with FM Mottaki's June 20 remarks to assembled
Ambassadors to Iran, when he denied that any voting
irregularities had occurred and praised Iran as more
democratic than other countries. Mottaki also took the UK to
task for what he claimed was its meddling in Iranian domestic
affairs, an extremely "impolite" gesture before the other
Ambassadors, in Baranov's estimation. He added that whereas
London and Paris had been particularly critical of Tehran, he
thought Washington's comparative restraint was the right
approach.



4. (C) Baranov explained that Moscow maintained "good"
relations with Ahmadinejad, Rafsanjani, and other Iranian
leaders, and could work with any of them. He thought that
Iranian authorities would not arrest Mousavi in order to
avoid stirring up more protests or a threatened general
strike.
BEYRLE