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Cablegate: Turkmenistan: Mfa Protests Iranian Accusation Of

VZCZCXRO8841
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ
RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHAH #0401 0911043
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 311043Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0524
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 3568
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 1386
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 1253
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL PRIORITY 1822
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE PRIORITY 2370
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS ASHGABAT 000401

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL IR TI TX
SUBJECT: TURKMENISTAN: MFA PROTESTS IRANIAN ACCUSATION OF
HAMPERING AID


1. (U) According to press reports, the Iranian press
attache in Dushanbe announced on March 26 the arrival of 28
tanker trucks of fuel oil and diesel fuel as part of a larger
tranche of humanitarian aid Iran was delivering to
Tajikistan, which had been sent during the winter to help the
Tajiks survive the unusually harsh weather. In his
statement, he also noted that because of unspecified
"problems of transit" across the territories of states
located between Iran and Tajikistan, the government of Iran
had not been able to deliver this aid in a timely fashion.
Neither Turkmenistan nor Uzbekistan, the countries of land
transit that would fit this description, were specifically
mentioned.

2. (U) Nevertheless, the Turkmen MFA issued a tersely
worded refutation of the Iranian attache's allegations,
describing his statement as "absolutely not conforming to
reality." The MFA statement also described the Turkmen
largesse of its own humanitarian aid to Tajikistan during the
winter, and chastised Iranian diplomats for making such
"groundless and biased remarks that do not conform to the
high level of Turkmen-Iranian relations."

3. (SBU) COMMENT: It is likely that the Iranian trucks
transporting the fuel from Iran were caught up in the scuffle
and resultant sit-in protest that Iranian drivers undertook
at the Turkmen border in February, after one Iranian trucker
complained about truckstop facilities and was beaten by
Turkmen security personnel. The MFA's disproportionate
reaction is further evidence of Turkmenistan's brittleness in
foreign relations. END COMMENT.
HOAGLAND

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