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Cablegate: Greece/Iran: Greece Won't Hinder Eu Consensus On

VZCZCXRO3793
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK
DE RUEHTH #0985 1921317
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 101317Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY ATHENS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2141
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0357

C O N F I D E N T I A L ATHENS 000985

SIPDIS

DEPT ALSO FOR NEA, EUR/ERA, AND EUR/SE
BRUSSELS ALSO FOR USEU

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/09/2018
TAGS: EFIN ETRD ETTC EU GR IR KCRM KNNP KTFN
PARM, PGOV, PINR, PREL, PTER, SNAR, TRGY, UNSC
SUBJECT: GREECE/IRAN: GREECE WON'T HINDER EU CONSENSUS ON
IRAN SANCTIONS BUT NOT GOING TO HELP

REF: A. USEU - NEMROFF/HOVENIER E-MAIL OF JULY 8
B. ATHENS 874 AND PREVIOUS
C. ATHENS 925

Classified By: A/Political Counselor Jeff Hovenier for
1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) DCM spoke July 10 with MFA Secretary General
Agathocles to inquire about the Greek position on the EU
package of measures to implement UNSCR 1803; DCM said that we
understood many in the EU were supportive of a common
position with robust measures, but that Greece and a few
others were expressing skepticism. The DCM underscored the
importance of increasing the financial pressure on Iran, and
asked for Greece to look carefully and positively in Brussels
at a more robust package of measures. Agathocles said that
Greece "will not block consensus on this issue," and will
follow whatever emerges in Brussels. He added, however, that
the recent story in the "New York Times" citing U.S. Pentagon
sources that a recent joint Greek-Israeli military exercise
had been meant by Israel to be a warning to Iran (ref C),
made Greece "more cautious" in its Iran policy. Agathocles
added that Greece had some specific problems with some of the
items in the proposed EU package, citing provisions related
to "ship searches" and "banks." That said, he reiterated
that the Greek EU Mission has instructions not to impede any
EU consensus, should one emerge.

2. (C) A/Pol Counselor followed up with MFA Iran Desk
Officer Gregory Karahailos. Karahailos confirmed that the
Greek MFA had "just completed" a review of its policy on this
issue with Agathocles, and that the instructed position to
the Greek Mission in Brussels was "not to push, but not to
block any consensus." Greece is of two minds -- it is
concerned about Iranian activities, but is not convinced that
further sanctions will have any meaningful effect.
Karahailos added that some in the GOG questioned whether it
would be "wise" to agree to sanctions that go beyond the UNSC
resolution. However, Greece has now agreed it "can agree to
this, should that be the EU consensus." Karahailos added,
frankly, that we should not expect Greece to do much more
than be passive in this debate. Karahailos also clarified
that Greece does have "a problem" with provisions in the
package that would allow for "unscheduled inspections" of
ships. Citing the importance and influence of the Greek
shipowners, Karahailos said Greece has concerns with these
provisions, as they could lead to shipping delays, resulting
in additional costs and possibly even potential claims
against the government. A/Pol Counselor underscored the
robust steps the U.S. has taken to implement 1803, reiterated
the importance of the EU doing the same, and emphasized our
request that Greece actively support an EU decision on a
robust package of measures.
SPECKHARD

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