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Cablegate: Iran Nuclear: Uk Commons Report Will Call for Dropping Suspension; Fco Discounts Report's Impact

VZCZCXRO1588
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK
DE RUEHLO #0630 0601629
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 291629Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7639
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L LONDON 000630

SIPDIS SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/28/2018

TAGS: PREL KPRP PGOV PHUM IR UK

SUBJECT: IRAN NUCLEAR: UK COMMONS REPORT WILL CALL FOR DROPPING SUSPENSION; FCO DISCOUNTS REPORT'S IMPACT REF: A. LONDON 4204 B. EMBASSY DAILY OF JANUARY 31 C. 2008 D. GAYLE-NEA/IR FEBRUARY 29 E-MAIL

Classified By: Political Counselor Richard Mills for reasons 1.4 (B) an d (D).

1. (C) The UK House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee on March 2 will urge a major change in HMG and collective western policy on Iran's nuclear program, most notably the dropping of the suspension requirement before there can be direct talks on nuclear issues with Tehran. According to an excerpt from the Committee's still unpublished report (ref C), which Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) contacts showed London Iran Watcher (Poloff) February 29, the "Global Security-Iran" report argues HMG should urge the United States to "change its policy and begin to engage directly with Iran on its nuclear program." The cross-party report argues that the December 2007 U.S. National Intelligence Estimate has created a policy environment in which current sanctions will not be enough to affect Iran's nuclear decisions, and urges HMG to strike a strong leadership posture on Iran vis-a-vis the United States.

2.(C) Embassy's working level FCO contacts said neither they nor FCO Political Director Mark Lyall Grant had seen the Committee report before February 29, but these contacts maintained the report's recommendations are very unlikely to affect HMG's stance on the Iran nuclear file; they reiterated that UK support for the "two-track" process embodied in current UNSCRs and EU measures on Iran remains unflagging.

Comment ------

3.(C) The wording of those portions of the report Poloff has seen incorporate both P5 1 and anti-P5 1 arguments, suggesting less than full agreement among the legislator-authors. Private sentiment and discussion in recent months among UK legislators, foreign policy analysts and, reportedly, some individuals within HMG on how best to foil Iran's nuclear ambitions, has been visible and vigorous (refs). Parliamentary Committee recommendations, however, due to the unique dynamics of the British system of cabinet government, have little direct or immediate impact on official HMG government policy, especially with respect to core foreign policy issues such as how to respond to Iran's nuclear program. UK senior policymakers remain determined on Iran and in support of a firm P5 1 approach, including the conditioning of direct engagement on a suspension requirement. Visit London's Classified Website XXXXXXXXXXXX
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