Cablegate: Uk, with Eu Partners, to Condemn Syria at Iaea


DE RUEHLO #2626/01 3271713
R 231713Z NOV 09

C O N F I D E N T I A L LONDON 002626



E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/23/2019

REF: SECSTATE 119161 Classified By: Political Minister Counselor Gregory Berry for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (C/NF) Summary: The UK is in full agreement with reftel points concerning Syria and will, with EU Partners, issue a statement condemning Syria for its lack of cooperation with the IAEA at the Board of Governors (BOG) meeting on November 26-27. While the UK has on previous reports lobbied non-EU states on Syria, the UK will not do so this time and will instead focus on Iran. The UK may, however, lobby non-EU states after the Board of Governors meeting. See para 6 for the full text of the draft EU statement on Syria. End Summary.

2. (C/NF) Poloff delivered reftel demarche to Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Counter-Proliferation Department Regional Issues Desk Officer Duncan Johnson on November 23. Johnson indicated that HMG was in full agreement with USG policy with regard to Syria and the IAEA, calling the recent IAEA report on Syria "dreadful" and noting that the Syrians were probably being less cooperative than the Iranians.

3. (C/NF) Johnson said that the UK, together with EU Partners, would issue a "quite strong" statement condemning Syria for its failure to cooperate with IAEA inspectors and urging it to reform and cooperate fully with the Agency at the IAEA Board of Governors (BOG) meeting on November 26-27. See para 6 for the full text of the draft statement.

4. (C/NF) Johnson said that on previous IAEA reports on Iran and Syria, the UK had lobbied non-EU states, notably those in the Non-Aligned Movement, pointing out the seriousness of both countries' offenses and asking states to issue condemnations of Syrian and Iranian actions. Johnson said that on this particular report, the UK was working to lobby non-EU states on Iran and would not be lobbying on Syria. Johnson cited differences in France and Germany's thinking on Syria, the European push for rapprochement with Syria, and the FCO's Syria desk's attempts to win the Syrians over on the Middle East peace process as reasons for not lobbying strongly on Syria on this report. Johnson did say, however, that the UK might take follow-up action on Syria after the BOG meeting, which could include lobbying non-EU countries.

5. (C/NF) Johnson said that the UK was preparing notes for the new IAEA DG noting the need to "keep the foot on the pedal" with regard to pressing Syria to cooperate with the IAEA. Johnson said that the UK had also, in the past, spoken to states like Turkey and asked them to talk to the Syrians privately and attempt to convince them that it was in their interest to cooperate with IAEA inspectors. Johnson said, however, that the UK had not had such conversations with regard to the most recent report. 6. (C/NF) Johnson provided the text of a final draft EU statement on Syria, to be delivered at the IAEA BOG meeting on November 26-27: Begin Text: International Atomic Energy Agency Final Draft Agenda item 4 (d) Implementation of the NPT-safeguards agreement in the Syrian Arab Republic Mr. Chairman, 1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. (The candidate countries Croatia, the former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia and Turkey, the Countries of the Stabilization and Association process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, associate themselves with this statement). 2. The European Union thanks the Director General for his report on the Implementation of NPT Safeguards Agreement in Syria (document GOV/2009/75). The EU commends the DG and the Secretariat for their continuing efforts to clarify all outstanding issues with Syria. 3. The EU is concerned about the lack of progress to clarify these issues in the implementation of Syria,s safeguards agreement. 4. Syria has still not provided information or access that would allow the Agency to confirm Syria,s statements regarding the non-nuclear nature of the destroyed building on the Dair Alzour site. There has been no cooperation on the part of the Syria to enable the Agency to determine the origin of the anthropogenic natural uranium particles, of a type not included in Syria,s declared inventory, found at the Dair Alzour site. The Agency has not been allowed access to locations and documentation as requested for this purpose. Syria has also failed to substantiate its claims that certain procurement efforts were related to civilian activities. There has been no willingness on the part of Syria to engage in substantive discussions with the IAEA. 5. The results of the samples taken in July at the Miniature Neutron Source Reactor (MNSR) in Damascus do not support Syria,s earlier explanation for the origin and presence of the anthropogenic natural uranium particles, of a type not in Syria,s declared inventory, found there. Lately Syria has identified other possible sources to the anthropogenic natural uranium particles. These explanations, however, need to be investigated further by the Agency. The EU supports the Agency,s efforts in this regard and hopes that the activities carried out during the inspection of 17 November did not provide the clarification sought. Mr. Chairman, 6. Refusal to cooperate will not do. Safeguards Agreements must be implemented in full. It is the obligation of each state with a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement in force to declare all its nuclear installments and material and to report on any new nuclear facility to the Agency once the decision on its construction is taken. 7. The EU thus urges Syria to cooperate with the Agency in order to ensure that safeguards are applied to all source and special fissionable material subject to Syria,s Safeguards Agreement. In the absence of the necessary co-operation with the IAEA the completeness and correctness of Syria,s declarations under its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement would clearly remain in doubt. 8. The EU understands Syria,s concerns about the sensitivity of information and locations in a site of a declared military nature, but would like to remind Syria that this does not preclude investigations by the Agency. The EU is convinced that it will be possible for Syria and the Agency to establish the necessary modalities that will enable the Agency to proceed with its verification while protecting sensitive military information. 9. The EU calls upon Syria to sign and ratify the Additional Protocol as soon as possible as a means to strengthen the confidence of the international community about the peaceful nature of Syria,s nuclear activities. 10. The EU acknowledges the Director General,s request to other Member States, which may possess information relevant to the verification of Syria,s Safeguards Agreement, especially on the issue of Dair Alzour, to provide the Agency with all such information. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. End Text. Visit London's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX

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