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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Iran; Dhaka

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

UNCLAS DHAKA 004151

SIPDIS

FOR I/FW, B/G, IIP/G/NEA-SA, B/VOA/N (BANGLA SERVICE) STATE
FOR SA/PAB, SA/PPD (LSCENSNY), SA/RA, INR/R/MR, AND PASS TO
USAID FOR ANE/ASIA/SA/B

CINCPAC FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR, J51 (LCDR FLETCHER),
J45 (MAJ NICHOLLS)

USARPAC FOR APOP-IM (MAJ STYNER)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR OIIP OPRC KPAO PREL ETRD PTER ASEC BG OCII
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: IRAN; DHAKA


SUMMARY: INDEPENDENT ENGLISH LANGUAGE NEWSPAPER "DAILY STAR"
SAYS THE MOST VIABLE OPTION FOR THE WEST IN REGARD TO THE
IRANIAN NUCLEAR PROGRAM IS TO RESUME CONSTRUCTIVE DIALOG
WITH IRAN INSTEAD OF IMPOSING ECONOMIC SANCTIONS OR USING
FORCE.
-----------------------
IRANIAN NUCLEAR PROGRAM
------------------------
"NUCLEAR SHOWDOWN WITH IRAN"
AN OP-ED PAGE ARTICLE IN INDEPENDENT ENGLISH LANGUAGE
NEWSPAPER "DAILY STAR" OPINES (8/22):
SYED MUAZZEM ALI
WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS BEFORE THE EU TROIKA TO BREAK THE
CURRENT DEADLOCK? EU WOULD LIKE TO PUT INTERNATIONAL
PRESSURE ON IRAN TO BRING IT BACK FROM THE CURRENT
ENRICHMENT PROGRAM. UNITED STATES, HOWEVER, IS ADVOCATING
FOR TOUGHER ACTION AGAINST IRAN INCLUDING IMPOSITION OF
ECONOMIC SANCTIONS BY THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL. PRESIDENT
BUSH...EVEN HINTED AT THE POSSIBILITY OF USE OF FORCE
AGAINST IRAN.
IF THE WESTERN COUNTRIES DECIDE TO TAKE THE ISSUE TO THE UN
SECURITY COUNCIL FOR IMPOSITION OF COMPREHENSIVE ECONOMIC
SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAN, IT IS NOT CLEAR WHETHER THEY CAN
MASTER SUPPORT OF OTHER COUNCIL MEMBERS, PARTICULARLY THE
DEVELOPING COUNTRIES.
EVEN IF THEY DO, CHINA AND RUSSIA, WHO HAVE ESTABLISHED LONG
TERM TRADE AND ECONOMIC TIES WITH TEHRAN, COULD DECIDE TO
VETO IN ORDER TO PROTECT THEIR NATIONAL INTERESTS. UN
SECRETARY GENERAL KOFI ANNAN RECENTLY EXPRESSED HIS

SIPDIS
APPREHENSION THAT THIS COULD IN TURN PARALYZE THE SECURITY
COUNCIL.
FURTHERMORE, UNITED STATES HAD IMPOSED ITS OWN ECONOMIC
SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAN MORE THAN TEN YEARS AGO. SO ANY FRESH
UN SANCTION WOULD HAVE NO ADDITIONAL IMPACT ON THEM.
HOWEVER, EU COUNTRIES ARE IRAN'S NUMBER ONE TRADING PARTNER.
THEY ARE LARGELY DEPENDENT ON IRAN TO MEET THEIR LONG-TERM
ENERGY REQUIREMENTS AND, IRAN PROVIDES A HUGE MARKET FOR
THEIR INDUSTRIALIZED GOODS. ANY UN IMPOSED SANCTION WOULD
SURELY SERIOUSLY AFFECT THESE MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL TIES.
WASHINGTON IS HEAVILY BOGGED DOWN IN IRAQ AND ANY FULL SCALE
MILITARY ACTION BY THEM AGAINST IRAN LOOKS UNLIKELY, THOUGH
A BLITZKRIEG AERIAL ATTACK LIKE THE ISRAELI ATTACK AGAINST
IRAQ IN 1982 CANNOT BE RULED OUT. HOWEVER, UNLIKE IRAQ, IRAN
HAS SEVERAL ATOMIC CENTERS SCATTERED ALL OVER THE COUNTRY
AND IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE TO KNOCK ALL OF THEM DOWN THROUGH
AERIAL STRIKES. EVEN IF THE US SUCCEEDS, IRAN CAN REBUILD
THEM WITHIN MONTHS SINCE SHE HAS BUILT THEM WITH HER OWN
TECHNOLOGY AND MANPOWER. IF ANY MILITARY ACTION IS LAUNCHED
AGAINST IRAN DESPITE THESE WEIGHTY CONSIDERATIONS, IT WOULD
FURTHER DESTABILIZE THE REGION AND BEYOND.
GIVEN THIS COMPLEX SCENARIO, THE MOST VIABLE OPTION SEEMS TO
BE RESUMPTION OF DIALOGUE WITH IRAN. FOR THE PAST TWO YEARS,
THE IAEA HAS BEEN ABLE TO GET SUBSTANTIAL DEGREE OF
COOPERATION FROM IRAN. THIS PROCESS HAS TO BE SUSTAINED AND
EXPANDED. SINCE IRAN IS AGREEABLE TO ADDITIONAL SAFEGUARDS,
THE EU SHOULD ENCOURAGE IRAN TO EXTEND FULL COOPERATION TO
IAEA SO THAT THE LATTER MAY CLOSELY MONITOR THE IRANIAN
URANIUM ENRICHMENT PROGRAM AND ENSURE THAT THERE IS NO
DIVERSION OF ENRICHED URANIUM TOWARDS MAKING NUCLEAR
WEAPONS.
ONE HAS TO KEEP IN MIND THAT IF IRAN IS PUSHED TO A
SITUATION WHERE IT DECIDES TO LEAVE THE NPT REGIME LIKE
NORTH KOREA, THEN THERE WILL BE NO CONTROL ON ITS NUCLEAR
PROGRAM. NOW THAT THE US INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES HAVE REVISED
THEIR EARLIER ASSESSMENT AND POINTED OUT THAT IRAN IS AT
LEAST TEN YEARS AWAY FROM MAKING THE BOMB, IT IS ALL THE
MORE REASON TO PURSUE A CONSTRUCTIVE DIALOGUE WITH IRAN AND
PERSUADE IRAN TO ACCEPT CLOSER SURVEILLANCE BY IAEA. TEHRAN
MAY NOT AGREE TO GIVE UP ITS NUCLEAR OPTIONS BUT IT HAS
INDICATED ITS WILLINGNESS TO ACCEPT GREATER SAFEGUARDS IN
RETURN FOR FULL NORMALIZATION OF TIES WITH THE WEST,
ESPECIALLY THE US.

CHAMMAS

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