Cablegate: Iran/Iaea: Options for Addressing Iran's Nuclear

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




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 219260

1. (SBU) Summary: On October 29, Ambassador delivered reftel
points and non-paper to FM Kadirgamar. Poloff had spoken
separately with GSL Assistant Director for UN Affairs
Ekanayake. Kadirgamar expressed interest in US views, but
acknowledged he was not well briefed on the subject.
Ekanayake said Sri Lanka realizes some action is needed, but
that Iran and Sri Lanka have a close relationship (Iran is a
major buyer of Sri Lankan tea). President Kumaratunga will
visit Iran in late November, around the same time as the IAEA
Board meeting. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Ambassador delivered reftel points and non-paper to
Sri Lankan Foriegn Minister Kadirgamar during an October 29
meeting. MFA Director General for Economic Affairs Prasad
Kariyawasam also attended. Kadirgamar listened with interest
to US points and agreed to review the non-paper. Kadirgamar
said he needed "to become better briefed" on the issue. In
response to Ambassador's explanation of steps that had taken
matters to this point, Kadirgamar asked whether North Korea
was in a similar situation. Ambassador replied that North
Korea had withdrawn from the NPT and therefore did not view
itself as under IAEA safeguards. Iran, as an NPT signatory,
must honor its NPT and IAEA commitments.

3. (SBU) During the meeting, Kadirgamar requested additional
background information on this specific issue, the EU
discussions with Iran and nuclear fuel cycle issues in
general. Post will contact NP directly for additional
information that we can provide.

4. (SBU) In an earlier discussion with poloff, Sumedha
Ekanayake, Assistant Director for UN Affairs, acknowledged
that his government realizes that "something must be done"
about Iran's nuclear activities. This decision is
complicated by the "close relations" his government maintains
with Iran. Ekanayake said his government has not yet decided
what course of action to pursue.

5. (SBU) Comment: We understand from the Foreign Ministry
that President Kumaratunga will travel to Iran, a major
importer of Sri Lankan tea, in late November -- at about the
time of the IAEA Board meeting. Presumably the IAEA Board
meeting will figure prominently in Iran's agenda for this
trip. Deputy Secretary Armitage will meet President
Kumaratunga and Foreign Minister Kadirgamar on November 8.
This would be an ideal time to raise the issue if Department
believes a highest-level approach is warranted.

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