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Cablegate: Tehran-Based Un Officials Convey Irig Interest In

VZCZCXRO0170
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK
DE RUEHDIR #0056/01 3311148
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O P 261148Z NOV 08
FM RPO DUBAI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0322
INFO RUEHDIR/RPO DUBAI 0317
RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI PRIORITY 0253
RUEHDE/AMCONSUL DUBAI PRIORITY 0283
RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 0001
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDHP/DIA DHP-1 WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/USCENTCOM TELECOM CENTER MACDILL AFB FL

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 RPO DUBAI 000056

NOFORN

SIPDIS, DEA HQ FOR HARRIGAN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/26/2018
TAGS: PGOV PREL SNAR PREF IR AF
SUBJECT: TEHRAN-BASED UN OFFICIALS CONVEY IRIG INTEREST IN
COOPERATION ON AFGHAN REFUGEES, NARCOTICS

DUBAI 00000056 001.2 OF 002


CLASSIFIED BY: Ramin Asgard, Director, Iran Regional Presence
Office, DOS.
REASON: 1.4 (b), (c), (d)


1. (S/NF) Summary: xxxxx based in Tehran, in
separate conversations with IRPO officers, said that officials
in Iran's Ministry of Interior are willing to work with the
United States on issues relating to Afghanistan within a United
Nations framework. Specifically, they noted that the IRIG is
seeking cooperation and assistance to address the problems of
refugees/economic migrants from Afghanistan and combating the
flow of narcotics from Afghanistan. Both men pointed to xxxxx as the likely IRIG lead on any
such initiative. End summary.

Refugees and Counter Narcotics: Potential Areas for Technical
Cooperation

2. (S/NF) During a November xxxxx
described counter-narcotics and refugees as areas ripe for
cooperation between Iran and the United States. xxxxx
there is strong support within the Ministry of Interior for a
joint and pragmatic approach to address problems emanating from
Afghanistan. xxxxx argued that elements within the IRIG,
particularly at the sub-ministerial and working levels, would be
comfortable working with the USG under the UN umbrella. In a
separate conversation, xxxxx said that Iranian officials have repeatedly
expressed interest to UNODC staff in Iran about working
multilaterally, including with the US and the UK, to combat the
production of drugs in Afghanistan as well as drug trafficking
to/through Iran.

3. (S/NF) xxxxx said that any contribution on the part of the
United States toward easing the societal and economic burdens
the instability in Afghanistan places on Iran would be well
received by both the people and the government of Iran.
Iranians, in his estimation, feel that their assistance to
Afghan refugees over the decades of war in that country has been
unappreciated by the international community in general and the
US in particular. xxxxx also argued that explicit and
tangible contributions to refugee assistance, above and beyond
our contributions to UNHCR, would help undermine IRIG officials'
attempts to portray USG actions in the region as inhumane.
xxxxx cited increasing negative domestic press coverage of the
effects on Iran caused by the "reverse flow" of economic
migrants from Afghanistan to Iran. At the same time, xxxxx
cautioned against the USG publicly trying to take credit for its
assistance, as publicity could backfire by causing MOI officials
to back away.

4. (S/NF) Both xxxxx as a potential interlocutor for both counter-narcotics
and refugee issues. xxxxx is xxxxx able to "get many things
done." xxxxx is known as a pragmatist rather
than an ideologue and has a solid working relationship with the
xxxxx in Iran.

5. (S/NF) xxxxx believes that just within the past couple of
months, members of Tehran's political elite who favor
cooperation with the West on Afghanistan have become noticeably
emboldened. xxxxx. While acknowledging that
invitation-only discussions held in think tanks and research
centers affiliated with state institutions hardly signals a sea
change in official thinking, xxxxx argued forcefully that just
a few months ago such events would have been unthinkable.

6. (S/NF) In a separate discussion with xxxxx in early November, IRPO first heard that the Iranian

Dubai 00000056 002.2 of 002


government - in this case xxxxx
- was keenly interested in counternarcotics cooperation with the
US. Following up above via two separate UN agency officials
based in Iran, we are now confident that this interest is
genuine, although we can not ascribe IRIG motivations.
Asgard

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