mercoledì 16 febbraio 2011
Wikileaks : Viewing cable 09LONDON1745, IRAN: XXXXXXXXXXXX MEETS ARAB AMBASSADORS IN
16 Febbraio 2011
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK RUEHTRO
DE RUEHLO #1745/01 2111030
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 301030Z JUL 09
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3004
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 LONDON 001745
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/28/2019
TAGS: PREL KNNP IR
SUBJECT: IRAN: XXXXXXXXXXXX MEETS ARAB AMBASSADORS IN
REF: LONDON 1561 AND PREVIOUS
Classified By: Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs Greg Berry, rea sons 1.4 (b) and (d).
¶1. (S) SUMMARY: London Iran Watcher (poloff) attended a luncheon XXXXXXXXXXXX hosted by the XXXXXXXXXXXX in honor of XXXXXXXXXXXX. Also in attendance were the ambassadors of XXXXXXXXXXXX, as well as XXXXXXXXXXXX, XXXXXXXXXXXX, XXXXXXXXXXXX, and XXXXXXXXXXXX businessman XXXXXXXXXXXX. XXXXXXXXXXXX projected a much harder line than he expressed in a previous meeting with poloff (reftel). He declared the nuclear file "closed" and said further sanctions would have no effect on Iran's ability to pursue its nuclear aspirations. He expressed frustration at the "double standard" being applied to Iran and Israel, and railed at the U.S. for not imposing sanctions on Israel for its nuclear weapons program while sanctioning Iran. Almost as an afterthought, XXXXXXXXXXXX maintained Iran was not pursing nuclear weapons. On the internal political situation in Iran, XXXXXXXXXXXX asserted the Iranian people continue to support the Islamic Revolution and its system of government, and that any disagreements between the "three political options" represented by Ahmadinejad, Mousavi and Karroubi would be settled within the system. END Summary. Iran's Nuclear Program and Relations with the U.S.
¶2. (S) XXXXXXXXXXXX welcomed the overtures of the Obama administration toward Iran, but was harshly dismissive of restarting negotations on Iran's nuclear program, declaring the nuclear file "closed." Iran would not agree to suspend its uranium enrichment again, XXXXXXXXXXXX said, and implied Iran would not provide a substantive response to the P5 1 proposal. XXXXXXXXXXXX also asserted that "Europe doesn't matter" when it comes to the nuclear issue; the only real interlocutor for Iran on that score is the United States. He said Iran did not fear further sanctions, as those imposed already had had no real effect on Iran's nuclear program. American policies in the region, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan, had failed, while Iran's strategy was a success, he stressed.
¶3. (S) XXXXXXXXXXXX decried the "double standard" applied to Iran and Israel's nuclear programs, asking why there were no sanctions on Israel for its nuclear weapons -- implying that if Israel has the right to have nuclear weapons, so does Iran. When asked to clarify, XXXXXXXXXXXX stated Iran was not developing nuclear weapons. XXXXXXXXXXXX argued that Iran must not miss the opportunity presented by the P5 1 proposal, but XXXXXXXXXXXX responded with the familiar "when America changes its behavior, so will Iran." Poloff asserted the American approach had changed, and now the onus was on Iran to respond to the U.S. offer of engagement. XXXXXXXXXXXX was unmoved, and predicted there would be no progress on the nuclear front. Instead, he said the U.S. should "forget" about the nuclear issue and focus on areas of common concern with Iran. Iran Post-Election: The System is Strong
¶4. (S) When asked about the internal political situation in Iran, XXXXXXXXXXXX glossed over the conflict, asserting several times throughout the luncheon that the Iranian political system is stable and in no danger of collapse. He said the Iranian people wholeheartedly support the Islamic Revolution, and none of the "three political options" (Ahmadinejad, Mousavi and Karroubi) pose a threat to the existing political system; they simply represent different approaches to running the country. Ahmadinejad represents those who seek to distribute wealth to the poorest segments of society and create jobs in the short term. Mousavi and Karroubi, in contrast, were looking at the long term, investing in technology, industry and infrastructure. XXXXXXXXXXXX said the security services, especially the IRGC, maintained close ties to all camps and were hedging their bets in anticipation of a political compromise.
¶5. (S) On the formation of the new Iranian government, XXXXXXXXXXXX predicted Mottaki would be ousted as foreign minister because he is not "Ahmadinejad's man." He said Ahmadinejad may try to appoint Mashaei as FM, but the Majlis would surely reject him. While Ahmadinejad is not particularly savvy or polished when it comes to the international arena, XXXXXXXXXXXX said, the real leaders are elsewhere in the government. He praised Supreme Leader Khamenei's rationalism and experience LONDON 00001745 002 OF 002 and said he didn't believe "radicalism" would have a place in Iran's foreign policy under the new administration. Relations with the Region
¶6. (S) The XXXXXXXXXXXX asked XXXXXXXXXXXX about Iranian public opinion on the Iranian government's provision of material and financial support to groups like Hamas and Hizballah. He also asked if the Iranian government was still seeking to export its revolution to other countries in the Middle East and elsewhere. XXXXXXXXXXXX responded that the goals of the Islamic Revolution had evolved over time. Iran does not seek the overthrow of any government, and wants good relations with its Arab neighbors. Iran supports the Palestinians in their opposition to Israel, but is not seeking to drive a further wedge between Hamas and Fatah. At the same time, while Iran is a friend of Hizballah, it respects the independence of Lebanon. XXXXXXXXXXXX argued the Iranian government sees providing support to fellow Muslims as an Islamic imperative, and the people of Iran understand the importance of doing so.
7.(S) Finally, in what appeared to be a response to Secretary Clinton's statements regarding the security of U.S. allies in the Middle East, XXXXXXXXXXXX said Iran did not seek armed conflict with any nation, but would not hesitate to retaliate if it is attacked. Iran does not have the capability to attack America directly, but if America attacks Iran, Iran will respond by attacking American interests in the countries of the Middle East. XXXXXXXXXXXX added the security of the Persian Gulf region is the responsibility of the countries that border the Gulf, not the United States, and called for the departure of the U.S. from the region. Comment
¶8. (S) The tenor of XXXXXXXXXXXX's statements in this more public environment was noticeably sharper than in a private setting. Many of XXXXXXXXXXXX's comments seemed to be aimed at warning the assembled Arab ambassadors that the Iranian regime remains strong, stable, and ready to defend its regional interests. XXXXXXXXXXXX was at his most shrill in defending Iran's pursuit of nuclear technology. He became agitated and launched a tirade against Israel when poloff and XXXXXXXXXXXX noted Iran must take the next step in improving Iran's relations with the West, including reopening talks on the nuclear issue. XXXXXXXXXXXX is an inherently contradictory figure -- a devout cleric who vociferously defends the Islamic Revolution, but seems to yearn for acceptance by the outside world, even as he outwardly rejects its values. Visit London's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX MELVILLE