Cablegate: Ambassador Presses Pm Clark On Iran Nuclear Issue

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/05/2014


Classified By: Ambassador Charles J. Swindells, Reasons 1.5 (B and D)

1. (SBU) Ambassador Swindells met with New Zealand Prime
Minister Helen Clark on August 3 to touch base on a number of
issues. DCM accompanied as notetaker. The PM was backed by
acting Senior Policy Advisor Brook Barrington and Americas
Division Director (A/S equivalent) Roy Ferguson.

2. (C) The Ambassador noted the number of questions he had
been taking from university and civic group audiences on
Iran's nuclear program and pointed to recent press articles
highlighting growing concern in New Zealand on the subject.
He explained to the PM that the United States remains very
concerned as well, and has been looking to the international
community to step up and provide leadership. He applauded
New Zealand's recently announced commitments to the
Proliferation Security Inititiative and the G-8 Global
Partnership, and wondered what role the GONZ saw for itself
on Iran. PM Clark replied that New Zealand shared USG
concern over developments in the Iran nuclear program, and
was looking at how best to bring effective pressure to bear
on the Iranians. She said New Zealand had hoped the European
effort would bear fruit, but the Europeans had been
disappointed by Iran's subterfuge and hard-line response.
Clark said the Iranian Foreign Minister would be in New
Zealand August 23-24, adding that she would use the occasion
to deliver "a very strong message." (Comment: The PM did
not reveal what other steps New Zealand might take to show
leadership on this crucial non-proliferation issue (see
reftel). End Comment.)

3. (U) The Ambassador updated the PM on his fund-raising
efforts for the Platinum Triangle Scholarship Program under
the auspices of Fulbright New Zealand, and thanked her for
the GONZ's funding contribution. Clark said she was pleased
to see the private sector response to the new scholarship,
was delighted with the Embassy's initiative in getting the
program going and was happy to have made a contribution. She
suggested that the program be announced before the end of
August, and offered to participate in the roll-out. The
Ambassador said that timing would be perfect, and suggested
that it be followed up in January-February, 2005 by a photo
opportunity and meeting with as many of the private sector
participants as possible. The PM said she would be in New
Zealand during that timeframe and agreed it would be good to
highlight the public-private nature of the scholarship
program. The Ambassador informed the PM that he expected the
first scholarship recipient to be named in April, 2005.

4. (C) The Ambassador and PM discussed the upcoming Pacific
Islands Forum meeting in Apia. Ambassador Swindells
congratulated PM Clark for the hard, but effective, work New
Zealand had done in setting up the PIF secretariat and giving
governance issues top priority. The PM said New Zealand had
done its best to contribute to progress in the South Pacific,
adding that it would now be up to the secretariat to keep
momentum. She expressed concern that secretariat head Greg
Urwin had "seemed pretty quiet lately." Clark said she
looked forward to meeting with Assistant Secretary Kelly in

5. (C) On the margins of the meeting, We passed a copy of
the MNF Counterterrorism language to policy advisor
Barrington, since he was preparing a briefing paper on the
issue for the NZ Cabinet. We noted that in light of New
Zealand's previously strong public reaction to the
Philippines' pull-out from Iraq, our expectation was that New
Zealand would strongly support our message. Barrington
agreed that it would look like a climb-down if the GONZ did
not publicly support us on this. (Comment: Foreign Minister
Goff issued a statement the following day supporting the MNF
language (septel). End Comment.)


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