Cablegate: Turkey: A/S Gordon Presses Fm Davutoglu On Iran
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK RUEHTRO
DE RUEHAK #1654/01 3211708
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 171708Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1256
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 001654
DEPARTMENT ALSO FOR EUR/SE
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/17/2019
TAGS: KNNP PREL TU IR
SUBJECT: TURKEY: A/S GORDON PRESSES FM DAVUTOGLU ON IRAN
REF: ANKARA 1626
Classified By: Ambassador James Jeffrey, for reasons 1.4(b,d)
1. (S) Iran dominated A/S Gordon's 40-minute meeting November
12 with Foreign Minister Davutoglu. The FM had just gotten
off the phone with El-Baradei and had discussed in detail the
IAEA proposal to send Iran's low enriched uranium to Turkey.
El-Baradei had said he would "call Washington" that same
morning. This had followed two long "harsh" sessions with
the Iranians in Istanbul on Sunday evening. The Iranians
have said they are willing to meet with Solana, but have told
the Turks that they have serious problems with Cooper and the
British. They have "more trust" in the U.S. The Iranians
would also prefer to get fuel from the U.S. rather than the
2. (S) Davutoglu said the Iranians: a) are ready to send a
delegation to Vienna to work out the specifics on this
proposal; b) have given their "full trust" to Turkey; c)
continue to face serious domestic problems inside Iran. He
said the Turks actually see Ahmadinejad as "more flexible"
than others who are inside the Iranian Government.
Ahmadinejad is facing "huge pressure" after statements from
some P5 members to the effect that a nuclear deal would
succeed in weakening Iran,s nuclear capability -- which is
interpreted by some circles in Iran as a virtual defeat.
3. (S) Given this context, the Turks had asked Ahmadinejad if
the core of the issue is psychological rather than substance.
Ahmadinejad had said "yes," that the Iranians agree to the
proposal but need to manage the public perception.
Accordingly, the Iranians are proposing that the first 400
kilos be transferred to Kish Island -- thereby keeping it on
Iranian soil -- and would receive right away an equivalent
amount (30-50 kilos) of enriched fuel. The second stage
would focus on the management of Iranian public opinion,
after which Tehran would proceed with the Turkey option for
the remaining 800 kilos, probably in two tranches. Davutoglu
said Baradei agreed to consider this.
4. (S) Davutoglu noted that he had spoken to NSA General
Jones Wednesday, who had said that we should perhaps suggest
to the Iranians that they transfer 600 kilos to Kish Island
and 600 kilos to Turkey simultaneously. A/S Gordon said he
could not give an official response to the proposal as this
is the first time we heard it, but that he anticipates much
skepticism about providing fuel to Iran before all the LEU
has been taken out. It would be better to get all 1200 kilos
out right away.
5. (C) Davutoglu noted that these are two different
proposals. The first is Iran's request for fuel for its
nuclear reactor. Even if this takes place, he said, we still
need to work on limiting Iran's nuclear enrichment
capability. If we succeed with this proposal, he said, it
will create "confidence" and a "new momentum" and would allow
room for negotiation.
6. (C) Noting that Davutoglu had only addressed the negative
consequences of sanctions or the use of military force,
Gordon pressed Davutoglu on Ankara's assessment of the
consequences if Iran gets a nuclear weapon. Davutoglu gave a
spirited reply, that "of course" Turkey was aware of this
risk. This is precisely why Turkey is working so hard with
the Iranians. President Gul himself had spent two hours
Sunday with Ahmadinejad in Istanbul.
7. (C) Gordon noted that while we acknowledge that Turkey can
be helpful as a mediator, some of the Prime Minister's recent
public comments raise questions about how Turkey sees this
issue. Davutoglu said he is aware of these concerns, but
contended that the Guardian newspaper had not accurately
presented its recent interview with the Prime Minister. The
PM's comments had been taken out of context. Erdogan had
been asked if he views Iran as a friend. If he had said
"no," it would not have been possible to convince Tehran to
cooperate on this latest proposal. Only Turkey can speak
bluntly and critically to the Iranians, Davutoglu contended,
but only because Ankara is showing public messages of
8. (C) Gordon pushed back that Ankara should give a stern
public message about the consequences if UN resolutions are
ignored. Davutoglu countered that Erdogan had given just
such a statement in Tehran when he visited. He emphasized
that Turkey's foreign policy is giving a "sense of justice"
and a "sense of vision" to the region. Turkey has provided a
"third option" in addition to Iran and the Saudis (who he
contended are viewed as "puppets" of the US). The result, he
said, is that we "limit Iranian influence in the region." We
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need a "pro-Western approach AND a sense of justice."
9. (C) A/S Gordon has cleared this cable.
"Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at http://www.intelink.s