Cablegate: Iran Sanctions Act: Ina Ceo Comments On
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK
DE RUEHVB #0485 1791236
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 271236Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8442
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
UNCLAS ZAGREB 000485
DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/SCE (BALIAN) AND EEB/ESC/TFS (COULTER)
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ENRG EPET ETTC IR PREL HR
SUBJECT: IRAN SANCTIONS ACT: INA CEO COMMENTS ON
INVESTMENT IN IRAN
REF: ZAGREB 466
1. Following up his meeting with Croatian Foreign Minister
Jandrokovic (reftel), Ambassador spoke with INA CEO
Dragicevic on June 24 regarding INA's activities in Iran.
Citing a June 23 Xinhua wire service report of the
announcement of INA exploration in Iran, the Ambassador
stressed that while INA might consider itself to be a small
player, the Iranians would seek to exploit the agreement with
INA to show their public and the international community that
UN sanctions were not stopping companies from doing business
in Iran. The Ambassador urged that INA reconsider its
2. Dragicevic responded by recounting his conversations with
previous U.S. Ambassadors about doing business in other
sensitive countries. INA was aware of Washington's interest
and was careful to comply fully with UN sanctions and U.S.
legislation,even when this had cost INA business. He noted
in particular the example of Libya, where he claimed INA's
opportunities were eventually taken by American companies.
The planned INA activities in Iran, he maintained, were
consistent with both UN and U.S. measures.
3. Dragicevic noted that despite exaggerated Iranian press
statements, INA initially would have only a very limited
presence in Iran -- two to three technical people and an
assistant. It would be at least two to three years before
seismic work could be completed and any decision made about
development. Dragicevic expressed the hope that in this
period progress could be made between the international
community and Iran on its nuclear program.
4. Comment. Even if INA is unlikely to cancel its agreement
with Iran, both the company and the Croatian Government are
aware that their relations with Iran are attracting attention
in Washington. We would hope that this would make them more
cautious about future involvement with Iran.