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Cablegate: Jalili's Press Appearances in Belgium Countered by Former

VZCZCXRO1429
RR RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK
DE RUEHBS #0139 0251637
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 251637Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6935
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA 0106

UNCLAS BRUSSELS 000139

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PARM BE IR
SUBJECT: Jalili's Press Appearances in Belgium Countered by former
IAEA Official

REF: Brussels 125

1. (U) Summary: Iranian NSA Said Jalili's stop in Brussels included
several press sessions and an appearance at the MFA-affiliated
Egmont Institute of International Relations. The Iranian
unsurprisingly used both occasions to peddle the standard "not a
delinquent/just misunderstood" line. The local press found a good
way to undercut several of Jalili's extravagant claims by drawing on
the expertise of Pierre Goldschmidt, a former senior IAEA official
of Belgian origin. End summary.

2. (U) Jalili spouted one consistent line in a series of press
interviews. As he told the francophone daily Le Soir on January 25,
"Iran has always met its NPT obligations." He added that Iran has
implemented a number of confidence-building measures, had suspended
uranium enrichment for two years, had freely observed the NPT
additional protocol, and had allowed IAEA inspections to do their
work unhindered. As a result of these actions, Jalili claimed that
IAEA Director El Baradei had made clear in his recent reports that
Iran was indeed limiting itself to peaceful nuclear activities.

3. (U) The local press offered an informed critic of Jalili by
quoting Belgium's Pierre Goldschmidt, who until recently was IAEA
deputy-director. Goldschmidt said that Jalili had made erroneous
statements, adding that Iran had imported nuclear material, well
ahead of declaring them, and that the material was used in the
Kalaye Electric Company three years ahead of being discovered by the
IAEA. Goldschmidt added that the IAEA had recently found documents
detailing production of enriched uranium hemispheres, which only
have military usage. Moreover, after four and a half year
investigating, the IAEA has not yet been able to establish that Iran
has no hidden nuclear activities. Iran failed last November to
produce the sort of information it had supplied in the past.

4. (U) Jalili attempted in a separate press comment to make much out
of what he described as the "disunity" of the UNSC P-5. The recent
Berlin meeting was an example of this disunity, he claimed. Jalili
repeated that the IAEA's November report demonstrated that the
accusations leveled against Iran were baseless. In addition, the
recent U.S. intelligence report allegedly showed Iran's present
nuclear activities were "peaceful."

5. (U) Comment: the careful (and welcome) effort to refute Jalili
with Goldschmidt's expertise provides strong evidence of the
widespread skepticism here about Iran's nuclear claims. The Belgian
government, which consistently has followed the lead of the U.S.,
Britain, France, and Germany on this issue, can count on broad
public support. End comment.
BUSH

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