Cablegate: Greece/Iran: Fm Bakoyannis Instructs That Advisory
DE RUEHTH #1347 2661133
ZNY SSSSS ZZH (CCY ADX0DC4354 WSC2778 611)
O 221133Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY ATHENS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2529
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0394
S E C R E T ATHENS 001347
C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (GARBLE TEXT)
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/18/2018
TAGS: GR IS ECON EFIN EWWT ETRD PARM PREL KNNP EUN
SUBJECT: GREECE/IRAN: FM BAKOYANNIS INSTRUCTS THAT ADVISORY
BE ISSUED ON IRISL
REF: A. SECSTATE 94723
B. ATHENS 1328
Classified By: DCM DEBORAH MCCARTHY. REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D).
1. (S) DepPolCouns discussed ref A points on Greek
interactions with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines
(IRISL) with MFA A6 Directorate for Middle East Affairs
deputy head Giorgos Ayfantis. He later informed us that FM
Bakoyannis had agreed to the requests and that an advisory
would be issued.
2. (S) DCM raised the demarche ponts with Deputy Minister
for Mercantile Marine and Aegean Issues Panos Kammenos.
When told that FM Bakoyannis had agreed to issue an dvisory,
Kammenos was supportive. He subsequently told us that his
ministry had issued the advisory to the shippers.
3. (S) DCM also discussed the matter with the Israeli
Ambassador, and we provided him with a copy of the points.
The Ambassador thanked us for the information and said he
would immediately take the matter up with the Greeks.
DepEconCouns provided the points as well to Ioannis
Sidiropoulos, Secretary General of the Ministry of Economy
and Finance; Panagiotis homopoulos, Deputy Governor of the
Bank of Greece (BG); and Panagiotis Kyriakopoulos, Director
of Monetary Policy of Banks of the Bank of Greece.
4. (S) COMMENT: The GOG is supportive of our efforts with
regard to IISL and has issued the advisory as we requested.
At the same time, both Foreign Ministry and Mercantile Marine
interlocutors warned that Greek shippers did not always
adhere to warnings issued by the GOG. The MFA's yfantis
explained that the Greek shipping business was very cynical
about government actions. Some shippers would try to bargain
about the scope of the warnings, while others would simply
try to circumvent, particularly those who had already
benefited from business with the Iranians and had a tradition
of working outside the law. He cited the case of shippers
who quietly but effectively worked with -- and made fortunes
from -- the Rhodesians when that regime was under heavy
international pressure. Deputy Minister of Mercantile Marine
Kammenos similarly drew our attention to peculiarities of the
Greek shipping market that complicated the application of
sanctions. He noted that the older generation of shippers
were for the most part cooperative with the government on
priority cases, though usually more so when matters were
handled orally and not put into writing. The younger
generation was even harder to deal with. Kammenos
nevertheless promised to do what he could to assist. Embassy
will pursue the issue further with shipping contacts.