Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register



Cablegate: Iran: Chinese Embassy Asks Whether Georgia Crisis Affects P5+1's Iran Posture

DE RUEHLO #2186/01 2351631
P 221631Z AUG 08

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 LONDON 002186


E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/22/2018



Classified By: Political Counselor Rick Mills for reasons 1.4 (b) and ( d)

1. (C) Summary: Chinese Embassy counterparts asked informally whether the Georgia crisis means in U.S. eyes a suspension or slowdown in multilateral efforts on Iran nuclear. London Iran Watcher (Poloff) said this is not the case; international equities on Iran are too urgent and well-defined, and Iranian behavior too unchanged. PRC Embassy counterparts doubted the effectiveness to date of Iran sanctions. PRC officials said China is considering supporting full membership for Iran in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. End summary.

China May Think Georgia Crisis Means Go-Slow On Iran ------------------------------

2. (C) China anticipates that international friction with Russia over Georgia may limit ability of P5 1 or UNSC to take further measures on Iran nuclear policy, Political Counselors Mr. Pang Hz and Mr. Xin Ma told Poloff during an August 18 informal chat, requested by the PRC hosts, at their Embassy.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

3. (C) Poloff, aware of Chinese caution on Iran generally (ref), said USG view of need to increase multilateral pressure now, rather than later, on Iran is unchanged. In response to a Hz comment, Poloff noted it is pointless for Iranian leadership to count on the U.S. presidential election to produce a change in the USG stance on Iran.

4. (C) On the Georgian factor, Poloff's personal view was optimistic: though tension with Russia might be raised by the very serious matter of Georgia, Russia recognizes its own interest in preventing an Iranian military nuclear capability, and would not walk away from the main multilateral platforms it has to address those interests. Hz and Chin appeared to listen carefully, and did not comment further. Hz and Chin were interested whether there had been or would be any USG bilateral contact with Iran outside the P5 1 framework; Poloff said the P5 1 remains the sole channel on the nuclear issue, with no recent meetings between U.S. and Iranian envoys in Baghdad on Iraq-specific issues.

Sanctions: The Usual PRC Critique ---------------------------------

5. (C) Hz and Chin raised what they called the "ineffectiveness" to date of sanctions on Tehran; Poloff disagreed, pointing out the continued deterioration of Iran's economy despite near-record levels of government oil revenue and to the increasing domestic political isolation of Ahmedinejad due to economic distress.

6. (C) Hz and Chin wondered aloud whether the western remedy of financial sanctions against Iran had run their course; Poloff noted the EU had just dramatically expanded its own Iran sanctions posture via the Common Position announced August 7; Hz's and Chin's comments did not suggest a complete awareness of the announcement's timing or import. SCO

Membership for Iran: China May Support ------------------------

7. (C) Hz and Chin both briefly raised Iranian interest in full membership the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), citing an upcoming SCO meeting, but were uncertain of date or venue. They said China is considering what the "appropriate timing" might be for Beijing to support such a bid by Iran, and noted Iran already has SCO "observer" status.

8. (C) Poloff noted that, while the USG in general supports positive relations for Iran with the entire region, now is not the time for the international community to reward Iran for its continued defiance of UNSCRs, recent missile tests, and continuing support for regional instability; awarding membership in major regional organizations would be the wrong signal. Hz and Chin thanked Poloff and asked to be informed if the USG's stance against SCO membership for Iran changes.

Comment -------

9. (C) Neither Hz nor Chin, with whom Poloff had spoken previously on the margins of P5 1 PolDir meetings in UK on Iran, discussed UK positions, with respect either to Georgia or to P5 1/Iran. Hz and Chin both use the title Political Counselor, and both appear by their demeanor and comments to LONDON 00002186 002 OF 002 be of similar rank. Both have on several occasions seemed eager to get USG informal views on the Iran nuclear issue. This time they seemed mildly disappointed, and perhaps skeptical, that the USG is not planning go slow or put aside the Iran nuclear issue in light of strained Western relations with Moscow over Georgia, They gave no specific indication, however, that China will propose any suspension in international efforts on Iran. Visit London's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
World Headlines

UN News: Aid Access Is Key Priority

Among the key issues facing diplomats is securing the release of a reported 199 Israeli hostages, seized during the Hamas raid. “History is watching,” says Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths. “This war was started by taking those hostages. Of course, there's a history between Palestinian people and the Israeli people, and I'm not denying any of that. But that act alone lit a fire, which can only be put out with the release of those hostages.” More

Save The Children: Four Earthquakes In a Week Leave Thousands Homeless

Families in western Afghanistan are reeling after a fourth earthquake hit Herat Province, crumbling buildings and forcing people to flee once again, with thousands now living in tents exposed to fierce winds and dust storms. The latest 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit 30 km outside of Herat on Sunday, shattering communities still reeling from strong and shallow aftershocks. More

UN News: Nowhere To Go In Gaza

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said some 1.1M people would be expected to leave northern Gaza and that such a movement would be “impossible” without devastating humanitarian consequences and appeals for the order to be rescinded. The WHO joined the call for Israel to rescind the relocation order, which amounted to a “death sentence” for many. More

Access Now: Telecom Blackout In Gaza An Attack On Human Rights

By October 10, reports indicated that fixed-line internet, mobile data, SMS, telephone, and TV networks are all seriously compromised. With significant and increasing damage to the electrical grid, orders by the Israeli Ministry of Energy to stop supplying electricity and the last remaining power station now out of fuel, many are no longer able to charge devices that are essential to communicate and access information. More


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.