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Cablegate: Iran Press/Nuclear: November 16th

VZCZCXRO9104
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHTRO
DE RUEHDIR #0493/01 3201324
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P R 161324Z NOV 09
FM RPO DUBAI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0623
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEIDN/DNI WASHINGTON DC
RUEHAD/USLO ABU DHABI TC
RUMICEA/USCENTCOM INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHDIR/RPO DUBAI 0624

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 RPO DUBAI 000493

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL IR PARM
SUBJECT: IRAN PRESS/NUCLEAR: NOVEMBER 16TH

DUBAI 00000493 001.2 OF 003


1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The following contains November 15-16
nuclear-related statements as reported in the Iranian press by:

A. Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezai

B. Chief of Joint Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi

C. Senior Ahmadinejad advisor (and former First VP) Parviz
Davudi

D. Senior Ahmadinejad advisor Mojtaba Samareh Hashemi

E. Kayhan editorial: "Iran won't wait forever " [for West's
response on IAEA proposal]

2. (SBU) IRIG OFFICIAL COMMENTS:

A. EXPEDIENCY COUNCIL SECRETARY MOHSEN REZAI (NOV 15 - ISNA)

In November 15 remarks that were covered extensively in the
Iranian media, Rezai said that:

- As President Obama has said, Iran's sending out 75 percent of
its produced [enriched] uranium would be a confidence-building
measure. The question then becomes in the face of this major
Iranian confidence building measure, what will the West do? In
my opinion suspending sanctions is an appropriate reciprocal
confidence building measure from the West. If we cannot get
this concession from the West, it will be the same as before
when our confidence building measures (like enrichment
suspension, honest cooperation and signing the Additional
Protocol) didn't engender any reciprocal measures from the West,
and we will be the loser in this political deal. If sanctions
aren't suspended, Iran will be the loser in any political deal.

- IRIG officials should beware not to fall into a 'Western
trap," as the West was seeking to achieve political goals under
cover of the IAEA technical proposal of providing fuel to the
Tehran Research Reactor (TRR). The IAEA's current proposal of
swapping 1200 of Iranian 3.5 percent enriched uranium for 116 kg
of 20 percent enriched uranium conflates the issue of achieving
political goals and confidence building with a technical issue
of acquiring TRR fuel.

- This fuel swap idea is a 'double-edged sword' which if not
handled well could injure Iran, and to avoid falling into the
Western trap, Iran needs to separate the two issues. Procuring
TRR fuel is purely a technical issue. At most, we should see
how much fuel the TRR will need to run, and then agree to only
swapping as much 5.3 enriched uranium out as necessary. For
operating five days a week, TRR needs approximately 8 kg
annually, i.e. if we want to procure fuel for seven years, we
will need approximately 58 kg of 20 percent enriched uranium,
which would require approximately 350 kg of 3.5 percent enriched
Iranian uranium. As such, talk of exporting 1200 kg of Iranian
uranium, or giving the fuel a year early, or storing Iranian
fuel in a third country, is not relevant.

B. CHIEF OF JOINT ARMED FORCES MAJOR GENERAL HASSAN FIROUZABADI
(Nov 15 - IRGC Website 'Basirat')

The amount of 3.5 percent fuel that Iran would exchange is not
enough to injure Iran's stockpile for nuclear power plants, and
that Iran will not let itself be harmed by a fuel exchange. Any
such exchange of Iranian fuel would not cause any pause in the
continuation of enrichment.

DUBAI 00000493 002.2 OF 003

C. SENIOR AHMADINEJAD ADVISOR (AND FORMER FIRST VP) PARVIZ
DAVUDI (November 15 - IRNA)

- Ahmadinejad senior advisor and former First Vice-President
Parviz Davudi said that if Iran reaches agreement on the IAEA
TRR fuel proposal, Iran must first receive the 20 percent
enriched fuel and afterwards then give its own 3.5 percent
enriched fuel.

- The West's retreat on the nuclear issue in the face of Iran is
quite clear, as now the West officially recognizes Iranian
enrichment, whereas previously the West couldn't even
countenance "even a few centrifuges turning" in Iran.

- Iran would definitely not again encounter the behavior that
France showed in previous years in not giving Iran its share
from Eurodif. This experience Iran had with the French showed
us we could not fully trust the West, and that we had to act
such that if there were arranged to do a fuel exchange, that it
be done gradually and with guarantees.

D. SENIOR ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD, MOJTABA SAMAREH
HASHEMI: (November 14 - IRNA):

[On IAEA TRR Nuclear Fuel Deal]. Any fuel deal isn't definite
and hasn't been announced, and Iran was waiting to see "how
truthful the West is in their speech." Iran wants to cooperate
but the West with their media propaganda has set this
cooperation off course. Iran entered into the process with good
intentions but they [the West] abused these good intentions, but
the Iranian nation isn't one that will succumb to pressure.

[On Turkey's possible role as a third country to receive Iran's
enriched fuel]: Turkey has been proposed but Turkey hasn't yet
agreed or decided whether it wishes to act in this regard.

3. (SBU) OTHER ARTICLES/NEWS

A. JALILI BRIEFS EXPEDIENCY COUNCIL: Iranian press reported
that on November 14 NSC Secretary Said Jalili briefed the Iran
Expediency Discernment Council (aka 'Expediency Council,' headed
by Rafsanjani) on the latest situation concerning Iran's
negotiations with the European countries concerning providing
nuclear fuel to Iran. No further details were available.

B. KAYHAN EDITORIAL: "IRAN WON'T WAIT FOREVER " [FOR US RESPONSE
ON IAEA PROPOSAL]

The strategic thinking of the new US administration changed
after June 12. Before June 12 the US realized seeking Iran's
cooperation and engaging Iran in comprehensive negotiations was
"unavoidable" due to Iran's regional importance. The only
question was whether Iran would enter such negotiations, since
Iran had no need to do so. However several months before June
12 Presidential election this strategy changed, as the USG
received reports from within Iran indicating that the reformists
could win the Presidential election, and as such the USG stopped
efforts to start negotiations and focused instead on helping the
Reformists win.

Although disappointed with the results, after the elections the
US realized that domestic intervention in Iran would complement
US pressure on Iran from abroad, since Iran could be weakened by

DUBAI 00000493 003.2 OF 003


internal dissension, whereas (only) applying force from abroad
strengthened Iran. In other words, the West realized that
external pressure was effective only when strengthened by tools
inside Iran, and that it now had such domestic tools. As such,
it sought to intensify Iran's domestic crisis, hoping it would
lead to a change in Iran's foreign policy behavior.

According to the West's mistaken analysis, the 'Vienna nuclear
negotiations' are one such tool to intensify domestic Iranian
conflict, as it presents Iran with equally unpalatable options.
With this IAEA proposal Iran is faced with two unpalatable
options of suspending enrichment [sic] or giving up its store of
enriched uranium. If it does either the West can claim victory
and if it does neither it will face increased domestic pressure,
since Iran lacks sufficient domestic consensus for resistance.
However the West has erred in assuming that Iran lacks this
domestic consensus.

Actually, the internal divisions are within the Western camp and
not within Iran. It has been one month since Iran has given its
answer to the Vienna draft proposal and is awaiting a Western
response. The West knows that Iran has not rejected the
principle of the Vienna deal, which is buying fuel, and is only
trying to address some concerns that while procuring TRR fuel,
its strategic store of nuclear material be preserved. The West
has not been able to decide how to address these concerns, and
hence the matter remains suspended. Now the West must hear the
sentence that it always uses against Iran, i.e. that Iran's
patience is limited, and once Iran puts the option of domestic
enrichment to the high levels needed for the TRR on the table it
won't take it off.
EYREAE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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