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Cable 09STATE16285


 Reference ID  Created  Released  Classification   Origin
 09STATE16285  2‎009-02-22 ‎‎20:08  2010-11-28 ‎‎18:06  SECRET   Secretary of ‎State
 

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S E C R E T STATE 016285 ‎
‎ ‎
SIPDIS ‎
‎ ‎
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/18/2029 ‎
TAGS: KNNP PARM IAEA MNUC IR SYR TRGY
SUBJECT: IAEA REPORTS ON IRAN AND SYRIA ‎
‎ ‎
CLASSIFIED BY: ISN - C. S. ELIOT KANG, ACTING FOR ‎
REASONS 1.4(B) AND (D) ‎
‎ ‎
آ‎¶1.  (U) This is an action request.  See paragraphs 6-9. ‎
‎ ‎
‎------- ‎
SUMMARY ‎
‎------- ‎
‎ ‎
آ‎¶2.  (SBU) International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) ‎
Director General (DG) ElBaradei released his latest ‎
reports on the status of the IAEA's investigations into ‎
Iran and Syria's nuclear programs on 19 February 2009. ‎
Both reports conformed to expectations in describing the ‎
absence of any meaningful steps by either country to ‎
address the serious issues that exist with respect to ‎
their nuclear programs. ‎
‎ ‎
آ‎¶3.  (SBU) With respect to Iran, DG ElBaradei's ‎
description of the dichotomy between the stalled ‎
investigation and rapid pace of Iran's centrifuge ‎
advances is stark.  The report underscores the number of ‎
outstanding issues that need to be clarified regarding ‎
possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program. ‎
The IAEA simply notes that it has "still not received a ‎
positive reply from Iran" regarding its request for ‎
access to relevant "information, documentation, ‎
locations or individuals."  Consequently, "the Agency ‎
has not made any substantive progress on these issues." ‎
Iran's failure to cooperate with the IAEA in this regard ‎
suggests Iran continues to wish to hide the nature of ‎
these activities. ‎
‎ ‎
آ‎¶4.  (SBU) At the same time, the IAEA reported that, far ‎
from having complied with its UNSC obligation to suspend ‎
its uranium enrichment and heavy water-related ‎
activities, Iran has continued to expand its activities ‎
at the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) and Arak Heavy ‎
Water Research Reactor.  Approximately 5,500 centrifuges ‎
are operating, up from approximately 3,800 in November ‎
آ‎¶2008.  Of particular concern, the IAEA notes that since ‎
February 2007, Iran has produced 1,010 kilograms of low ‎
enriched uranium (LEU), a substantial increase over the ‎
‎630 kilograms reported in November 2008.  Approximately ‎
‎1,300 kilograms of LEU would be sufficient for one ‎
nuclear weapon if Iran decided to go that route. ‎
Currently, this material remains under IAEA safeguards. ‎
Nevertheless, the risk posed in an Iranian breakout ‎
scenario, either from diversion of safeguarded nuclear ‎
material or through the covert enrichment of undeclared ‎
nuclear material, is higher than in the past.  Morever, ‎
Iran continues to deny the IAEA access to the Arak ‎
reactor to conduct a Design Information Verification ‎
inspection which would provide the IAEA assurances that ‎
the construction of the reactor does not serve as a ‎
pathway to divert nuclear material for weapons purposes. ‎
‎ ‎
آ‎¶5.  (SBU) DG ElBaradei's report on Syria reinforces our ‎
conclusion that Syria was engaged in a clandestine ‎
effort to construct and operate a nuclear reactor at Al ‎
Kibar.  The report also helps to confirm that uranium ‎
found via environmental samples collected at the site is ‎
not naturally occurring, lending credence to the fact ‎
that the facility in question was a reactor.  Although ‎
the report does not categorically dismiss Syria's ‎
explanation that the uranium was from Israeli missiles ‎
used in the attack on the reactor in September 2007, it ‎
suggests that this explanation is highly unlikely. ‎
Syria delivered an eleventh-hour letter on 17 February ‎
‎2009 attempting to demonstrate a degree of cooperation ‎
immediately before the report's release.  The report ‎
notes that the responses in the Syrian letter "were only ‎
partial ... and did not address most of the questions ‎
raised in the Agency's communications."  Importantly, ‎
the report also calls on Syria to allow access to other ‎
locations and allow inspectors to take samples of the ‎
debris removed from Al Kibar as soon as possible, noting ‎
that these measures are "essential" for the IAEA to be ‎
able complete its assessment. ‎
‎ ‎
‎--------------- ‎
Action Requests ‎
‎--------------- ‎
‎ ‎
آ‎¶6.  (SBU) ACTION REQUEST FOR ALL POSTS:  Posts are ‎
requested to convey U.S. views regarding the IAEA ‎
reports to appropriate host governments.  Posts should ‎
underscore that these reports demonstrate that neither ‎
Iran nor Syria have taken any meaningful steps to ‎
cooperate with the IAEA in the past six months.  Posts ‎
should stress that Syria's refusal to do so only deepens ‎
concerns regarding the nature of its clandestine nuclear ‎
activities.  With respect to Iran, Posts should ‎
emphasize that while Iran has stalled the IAEA's ‎
investigation and still refuses to provide the IAEA with ‎
requested transparency, its centrifuge program continues ‎
to make progress.  The net result is that in neither ‎
case can the international community have confidence in ‎
the exclusively peaceful nature of these nuclear ‎
programs.  For Iran, the UN Security Council has imposed ‎
a mandatory requirement that it suspend all ‎
proliferation sensitive nuclear activities and cooperate ‎
fully with the IAEA.  On Iran, we should stress that ‎
with international rights, come responsibilities.  Iran ‎
needs to live up to those responsibilities.  We believe ‎
that Iran's continued failure to do so is another ‎
opportunity lost. ‎
‎ ‎
آ‎¶7.  (SBU) ACTION REQUEST FOR ALL POSTS CONT:  With ‎
respect to the upcoming 2-6 March 2009 IAEA Board of ‎
Governors' meeting, Posts should stress the need for the ‎
following from host governments: ‎
‎ ‎
‎-- Strong national statements on Iran and call on Iran ‎
to impement its international nuclear obligations ‎
without delay.  Statements should urge Iran to take ‎
advantage of this critical opportunity for engagement by ‎
addressing the concerns of the international community ‎
and underscore the need for full transparency with the ‎
IAEA (including Iran's implementation of the Additional ‎
Protocol) and cooperation with the IAEA's investigation, ‎
as well as suspension of all proliferation-sensitive ‎
nuclear activities; ‎
‎ ‎
‎-- Strong national statements on Syria and a demand that ‎
Syria cooperate with the IAEA's investigation; ‎
‎ ‎
‎--      Strengthened statements on Iran and Syria from ‎
regional or other groups, e.g., European Union, the ‎
Group of 77 and China, the Non-Aligned Movement, the ‎
Group of Latin America and the Carribean; the Africa ‎
Group, etc.  To the extent possible, Posts should ‎
encourage host goverments to instruct their delegations ‎
not to accept statements from any group to which they ‎
are a member that would downplay the factual reports of ‎
the IAEA, or undercut the Agency's ability to obtain the ‎
necessary information and access needed to resolve these ‎
serious issues; and, ‎
‎ ‎
‎-- Board members should support, by vote if necessary, ‎
releasing the Syria report to the public.  This is ‎
essential for the public to appreciate the serious ‎
nature of Syria's failure to cooperate with the IAEA. ‎
This report will also demonstrate the level of ‎
transparency in IAEA affairs that we believe Syria ‎
should manifest in its approach to the IAEA. ‎
‎ ‎
آ‎¶8.  (S) ACTION REQUEST FOR UNVIE:  In addition to ‎
conveying these messages to local IAEA Missions, UNVIE ‎
should continue working to promote support within the ‎
IAEA Secretariat and among IAEA Board Members for ‎
continuing and expanding the investigation into both ‎
Iran and Syria's nuclear activities and pressuring both ‎
to cooperate with the respective investigations. ‎
Mission is requested to place maximum effort into ‎
securing strong national statements demanding Iranian ‎
and Syrian cooperation with the IAEA by as many Board ‎
members as possible, particularly those in the EU. ‎
Mission should also work to support a P5+1 statement on ‎
Iran.  Mission's efforts to build support for such ‎
statements should begin as soon as possible, and will be ‎
facilitated by technical briefings on Iran and Syria's ‎
nuclear efforts to Board members in Washington and ‎
Vienna the week prior to the Board meeting.  These ‎
briefings will be provided by State and IC ‎
nonproliferation experts.  Mission is also requested to ‎
ensure that the IAEA Director General's forthcoming ‎
report on Syria is made public, including by laying the ‎
groundwork for a vote in the Board if necessary.  If ‎
possible politically and statutorily, Mission should ‎
seek the concurrent release of the November 2008 Syria ‎
report, which was denied public release by NAM/Arab ‎
intervention at the November 2008 Board meeting. ‎
Mission should begin coordinating with likeminded Board ‎
members at the earliest possible date. ‎
‎ ‎
آ‎¶9.  (S) ACTION REQUEST FOR LONDON, PARIS, MOSCOW, ‎
BERLIN, AND BEIJING:  In addition to conveying U.S. ‎
views regarding the Iran and Syria reports, Posts should ‎
stress that the United States believes that the Iran ‎
report reinforces the need for a strong P5+1 statement ‎
demanding Iran's immediate and full cooperation with the ‎
IAEA.  Discussions regarding specific texts will be ‎
addressed in Vienna and Washington. ‎
‎ ‎
‎--------------------------- ‎
POCS AND REPORTING DEADLINE ‎
‎--------------------------- ‎
‎ ‎
آ‎¶10.  (SBU) Mission is requested to report on the status ‎
of its efforts in advance of the Board.  Richard Nephew ‎
‎(202-647-7680) and Matt Goldstein (202-647-4196) are the ‎
Department's POCs for this issue. ‎
CLINTON

 



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