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Cablegate: Iran Press/Nuclear: Initial Iran Press Reaction to Geneva

VZCZCXRO7175
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHTRO
DE RUEHDIR #0455/01 2951402
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P R 221402Z OCT 09
FM RPO DUBAI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0579
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/DIA FT BELVOIR
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEIDN/DNI WASHINGTON DC
RUMICEA/USCENTCOM INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUEHDIR/RPO DUBAI 0580

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 RPO DUBAI 000455

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: IR PGOV PREL PARM
SUBJECT: IRAN PRESS/NUCLEAR: INITIAL IRAN PRESS REACTION TO GENEVA
IAEA DISCUSSIONS

DUBAI 00000455 001.2 OF 003


1. (SBU) The following is a sampling of October 22 Iranian press
coverage of the October 19-21 Vienna talks. Initial reporting
was mostly factual, and coverage uniformly relayed the basic
points of the draft agreement, in addition to IAEA Director
General al-Baradei's post-negotiation comments. Conservative
press highlighted that no final decision had been reached,
"nothing had been signed," and that there was no 'Friday
deadline' agreed to by the parties. It also highlighted Iran's
'principled stance' towards France which caused the French to
apologize for past behavior and promise to reform its ways.
Reformist press also mentioned October 20 meetings between the
US and Iranian delegations in IAEA Director General Al-Baradei's
office. The only official to speak out against the draft
agreement was Deputy Majlis Speaker Bahonar, who said that
providing 3.5 percent enriched fuel in exchange for receiving 20
percent fuel was "unacceptable."

2. (U) Kayhan (conservative): "Vienna Negotiations End without
Finalizing of Any Type of Agreement"

- Diplomats in Tehran say after three days of negotiations, the
IAEA Director General distributed a draft agreement with
decisions concerning it deferred to the future, with the Iranian
negotiating team and the Russian and American delegations having
moved the final decision to their capitals.

- Contrary to Western press, no agreement concerning it has been
reached.

- Based on the latest reports from Vienna, Russia and the US
have said that the sides have until Friday to announce their
final opinion on the draft. However, informed officials in
Tehran do not confirm any deadline concerning the agreement on
the draft and are convinced that this [i.e. the Friday deadline]
was Al-Baradei expressing his personal opinion.

- Based on this report, Russia, France and the US requested Iran
to implement an agreement whereby by the end of the year Tehran
would provide 1200 kilograms of its own uranium to Russia, which
would later be sent to France.

- Al-Baradei didn't say whether Iran had agreed to this key
point or not. IRIG IAEA Representative Ali Asghar Soltanieh
said only that Iran will be in a position to receive the fuel it
needs for the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR), adding that "all
details will be revealed on Friday."

- Talks in Vienna stopped on Tuesday as a result of Iran's
opposition of French presence at these negotiations and the
statement of IRIG FM Mottaki that Iran saw no need for France's
involvement in the provision of its fuel. But after Iran,
accompanied by Russia and the US, had a one-hour meeting with
Al-Baradei in his office to discuss the contents of the
negotiations.

- Sources close to Vienna say that France distanced itself from
its former behavior and its unwillingness to act according to
its former nuclear obligations with respect to Iran, and
announced its commitment to correct its past behavior and its
commitment to its new obligations.

- An informed source close to the Vienna negotiations emphasized
"With this act France is seeking to correct its past behavior
and reform its record of nuclear interaction with Iran so that
as a consequence Iran will accept Paris as one of the sides of
the agreement to provide TRR fuel."


DUBAI 00000455 002.2 OF 003


- Iranian officials in Vienna announced their opposition to the
presence of France in the fuel deal due to its lack of
commitment to its obligations, to include providing 50 tons of
UF6 gas to Iran. In this regard, IAEA officials say that based
on the proposed agreement Russia will enrich the uranium to the
necessary levels and France will have a secondary and indirect
role. Iran's IAEA representative said that at the end of the
talks Russia was designated as responsible for implementing the
full agreement for providing TRR fuel.

3. (U) Majlis Deputy Speaker Mohammad Reza Bahonar: "Exchanging
3.5 percent fuel for 20 percent fuel isn't acceptable to us."

In a press conference Majlis Deputy Speaker Bahonar was asked
about the just concluded Vienna talks, to which he replied:

- The issue relates to the Tehran Nuclear Reactor which we have
had for a long time and which needs 20 percent enriched fuel.
The IAEA is responsible for providing this fuel, which is about
to expire, to us. The AEOI has written a letter to the IAEA in
this regard to provide this fuel and the IAEA has referred the
matter to Russia and the US. IAEA members are responsible to
provide this fuel.

-They proposed in the negotiations to give 20 percent fuel in
exchange for receiving 3.5 percent enriched fuel from us, which
is not part of the IAEA agreements. Our official position is
that they must provide this fuel and we have announced that if
the international community won't carry this out, we'll provide
the fuel ourselves and this is part of our firm rights.

- Now the matter under discussion is that they are saying to us
give us 3.5 percent fuel so that we give you 20 percent fuel
which is not acceptable to us, and the Islamic Republic [Majlis]
Representatives are busy discussing [this issue] to arrive at a
conclusion.

4. (U) Tabnak: (Conservative/Moderate, affiliated with
Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezai)

- Informed sources in Tehran have said that the Vienna
discussion ended .. with the Western side, despite several
modifications of its positions, being unable to finalize any
agreement with Iran.

- Immediately after the negotiations' end, Western media
announced Iran's "agreement" to the draft proposal, but informed
Tehran sources say no agreement took place and Al-Baradei just
presented the draft agreement to those present.

- This source says that, "in the Vienna talks Iran was
successful to get rid of France as one side of the arrangement
with Iran, despite one day of resistance by the Western sides in
Vienna. But finally they were forced to realize that there
would be no agreement with the presence of France.

- It is noteworthy that foreign press has quoted Al-Baradei as
announcing a Friday deadline for the parties to announce their
views on the draft agreement. Concerning this, informed
officials in Tehran have said that his statement is inconsistent
with the content of the discussions and was his own personal
opinion.


DUBAI 00000455 003.2 OF 003


- Based on reports received, in a meeting IRIG IAEA
representative had with "Daniel Poneman" [sic], a US
representative, a general plan was put forward for providing
safety equipment for the Tehran Research Reactor main control
room, and some other equipment.
EYREAE

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