Cablegate: Mobilizing Pressure to Persuade Iran's

DE RUEHC #9124/01 0290351
O P 290343Z JAN 10

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 06 STATE 009124


E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/13/2030

Classified by NEA Assistant Secretary Jeffrey D. Feltman
for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

REF A: STATE 120288

1. (U) This is an action request. Please see
paragraphs 2-5.


2. (C) The United States, along with its partners, has
made an unprecedented effort to engage Iran in an effort
to diplomatically resolve the international community's
concerns with Iran's nuclear program. Iran's lack of
constructive response so far, and its continued
reluctance to cooperate with international efforts to
build confidence and transparency in its nuclear
program, demand a response. Department requests posts
to draw on the attached narrative to explain our
rationale for why sharpening the choice that Iran
faces, by increasing pressure, is necessary at this
point, and to secure the cooperation of host governments
in these efforts. End Summary.


3. (C) FOR ALL POSTS (except Moscow, Paris, Beijing,
London and Berlin): Please draw on narrative beginning
in paragraph 11 to:

-- Highlight U.S. efforts to mobilize diplomatic
engagement with Iran in 2009;

-- Underscore the lack of a meaningful Iranian response
to those efforts, especially since the P5+1 political
directors meeting with Iran in Geneva on October 1,

-- Outline U.S. view of next steps, including increasing
pressure on Iran; and

-- Seek enhanced bilateral cooperation to increase

Posts may share the general tenor of our message but do
not need to deploy the points themselves with host

5. (C) Points should be deployed by Ambassadors to most
appropriate senior counterparts. Posts may not leave
any part of this message in writing with host


6. (U) Posts should report any substantive response to
their efforts by February 3. Elisa Catalano (NEA/FO,, 647-9533) and Richard Nephew
(ISN/RA,, 647-7680) are the
Department's POCs.


7. (SBU) With its P5+1 partners, the U.S. has been
pursuing a policy towards Iran that includes engagement

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and incentives, as well as pressure. Since the 1
October 2009 meeting of the P5+1 Political Directors and
representatives from Iran, the United States has been
working closely with its partners to engage with Iran to
build international confidence in the peaceful nature of
its nuclear program. Based on the agreement in
principle reached with Iran in Geneva, we have focused
on supporting the IAEA's proposal for refueling the
Tehran Research Reactor (TRR), facilitating the IAEA's
investigation of the previously clandestine uranium
enrichment plant at Qom, and pressing for a follow-on
meeting between P5+1 Political Directors and Iranian
representatives explicitly on Iran's nuclear program.

8. (C) The results since October 1 have been
disappointing. Iran has not accepted the IAEA's TRR
proposal; instead, Iran has rejected a series of updated
and more flexible proposals from the IAEA and our
partners on some terms of the proposal (REF A), and has
offered a substantially different counterproposal which
fails to address the concerns about its nuclear program,
does not fulfill the objective of building confidence in
Iran's nuclear intentions, and, as EU High
Representative Lady Ashton described, in effect rejects
the IAEA's proposal. Iran has also announced its intent
to expand its nuclear program, including its intention
to start enriching uranium to higher levels to make its
own TRR fuel if its terms are not accepted on the fuel
deal. Although Iran granted IAEA access to the facility
at Qom, its cooperation was limited and there remain
serious questions about Iran's intentions for the
facility, which is in open defiance of five UN Security
Council resolutions. Finally, Iran to date has gone
back on its earlier commitment to meet again with the
P5+1 to discuss its nuclear program.

9. (SBU) Former IAEA Director General El-Baradei
released his latest report on Iran on November 16, 2009,
and the IAEA Board of Governors (BoG) adopted a
resolution on Iran on November 27, 2009. The resolution
notes the Board of Governors' serious concern that Iran
continues to defy the requirements and obligations
contained in UNSC resolutions and IAEA resolutions. The
Board of Governors also expressed its serious concern
that contrary to the request of the Board of Governors
and requirements of the UN Security Council, Iran has
neither implemented the Additional Protocol nor provided
the access necessary for the IAEA to provide assurance
as to the absence of additional undeclared nuclear

10. (U) President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and other
P5+1 leaders identified the end of 2009 as a key period
for assessing Iran's responsiveness. While the offer of
engagement remains on the table, we have begun to work
with partners to prepare new measures to increase
pressure on Iran.


11. (U) Begin talking points:

Overview: Where We've Been, and Where We Are

-- The President made clear his readiness to open a new
page in our relations with Iran, based on mutual
respect. This new approach featured our offer to engage
Iran directly, as well as our readiness to become a full
and active participant in the P5+1's efforts to resolve
international concerns about Iran's nuclear program
through negotiations.

-- We stated clearly our support for Iran's right to the
peaceful uses of nuclear energy provided Iran meets its

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international obligations and carries out its
responsibilities within the NPT framework.

-- When we met with the Iranian delegation in Geneva on
October 1, along with our P5+1 partners, we sought
Iran's commitment to three concrete actions, which would
demonstrate its intentions for its nuclear program:

-- support the IAEA's proposal for refueling the
Tehran Research Reactor;

-- facilitate the IAEA's full investigation of the
previously clandestine uranium enrichment plant at

-- agree to a follow-on meeting between P5+1
Political Directors and Iranian representatives by
the end of October, explicitly focused on nuclear
issues but also open to discussion of any issues
raised by any party.
-- Each of these agreed actions presented Iran with an
important opportunity to begin to assure the
international community about its intentions for its
nuclear program and to pursue together a diplomatic
resolution to our differences.

-- Iran has not followed through on any of these three

-- President Obama also stated last year that we would
continually assess Iran's responsiveness to these
offers, and that the end of the year would present a key
period of assessment.

-- It is increasingly clear that Iran has not taken
advantage of the opportunities we have offered.

-- A year into the Obama administration, Iran has not
taken practical, concrete steps that would begin to
create confidence in its nuclear intentions. Iran:

-- Continues to enrich uranium despite UNSC
requirements that it suspend such operations;

-- Revealed it had been building a secret uranium
enrichment facility at a military base near Qom, in
violation of its safeguards agreement and UN
Security Council resolutions;

-- Continues to refuse cooperation with the IAEA
in addressing the full range of IAEA questions
about the peaceful purposes of its nuclear program;

-- Has not accepted the IAEA proposal to refuel
the TRR, which was a response to an Iranian
request, despite U.S. and our partners' significant
efforts to be flexible and address Iranian concerns
with the deal; and

-- Since meeting with representatives of the five
permanent members of the Security Council and
Germany in Geneva on October 1, has refused all
subsequent efforts to schedule another meeting to
discuss its nuclear program.

-- Iran has not been able to say "yes" to a balanced
IAEA proposal that would provide fuel for its Tehran
Research Reactor and begin to build mutual trust and
confidence, notably by transferring 1,200kgs of its low
enriched uranium abroad as an indication of Iran's
peaceful nuclear intent.

-- Underscoring the significance of the IAEA's TRR
proposal, in November 2009, former IAEA DG ElBaradei
said that the proposal had "extensive built-in
guarantees...the Russians are guaranteeing implementation.

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The Americans are ready for the first time to guarantee
the implementation. The [IAEA] will take custody of
Iran's material so the international community as a
whole will guarantee" implementation.

-- On Iran's desire to retain possession of its nuclear
material under delivery of the fuel (which is the basis
of Iran's counterproposal), Dr. ElBaradei rejected this
approach, saying publicly in November after Iran first
raised this idea that this would "defeat the whole
purpose of the IAEA's agreement...this is not a

-- While it allowed IAEA inspectors to visit its newly
revealed enrichment site near Qom, it did not provide
the IAEA with the full access the organization
requested, notably by agreeing to the IAEA's request for
access to specific Iranian nuclear officials and
answering IAEA questions regarding the history and
purpose of the facility. The clandestine construction
of this facility was inconsistent with Iran's IAEA
Safeguards Agreement, and is in open defiance of UN
Security Council resolutions.

-- As the IAEA reported in November 2009, Iran
continues to develop its nuclear program regardless of
international concerns and IAEA, NPT, and UNSC
requirements - most starkly in its construction of a
secret uranium enrichment facility at a military base
near Qom. As former Director General El-Baradei's
report on November 16 outlines, this facility and the
circumstances surrounding it raises the persistent
question of additional such undeclared facilities.

-- The IAEA report makes clear that Iran has failed to
cooperate fully and transparently with the IAEA,
answering questions about the use of this facility and
the possibility of other facilities.

-- Iran has failed to take advantage of the creative
TRR proposal, engage with us constructively on other
elements of its nuclear program, and cooperate fully
with the IAEA. It also still defies UNSC requirements
that it suspend its enrichment program, instead
announcing an expansion of its nuclear program. Even
more, it is threatening to begin enriching its LEU to
higher levels of enrichment if the international
community does not accept a TRR deal on its terms, terms
that would not build confidence as they would reduce and
delay transfers of LEU from Iran.

-- Iran's continued nuclear activities and its refusal
to engage meaningfully with the international community
risks a possible arms race in the region and undermines
the global international nonproliferation regime as a

-- As you know, Israel has stated that an Iran with
nuclear weapons poses a great threat to its security and
that it reserves the right to defend itself. We believe
Iran's continued non-compliance with its international
obligations regarding its nuclear program poses serious
threats to stability in the region. Presenting Iran
with a united global front is the best avenue to resolve
the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic means.

-- In addition to its disregard of its nuclear-related
obligations, Iran continues to support terrorist
organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah, and militant
groups in Iraq. It also provides some support to the
Taliban to facilitate attacks against ISAF forces in

-- Also of deep concern to the international community
is the dramatic uptick in repression inside Iran. As
Secretary Clinton said recently, we are deeply disturbed

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by the ruthless repression that Iran is exercising
against its citizens who seek to exercise their
universal right to free expression and assembly.

The Pressure Aspect of the Strategy: Making the Case
--------------------------------------------- -------

-- The two elements of the P5+1 strategy -
engagement/incentives and pressure -- were always
intended to run in parallel, because without a credible
threat of consequences, it is unlikely that Iran will
make a strategic or even tactical change in direction.

-- For that reason, we have always recognized the
possibility that we would need to increase pressure to
sharpen the choice that Iran faces in order to persuade
Iran that the international community is serious.

-- Still, our emphasis over the course of this year has
been on outreach and engagement rather than pressure.
Unfortunately, to date, Iran has failed to respond

-- Pressure is not an end in itself; it is a means to
encourage Iran to recalculate costs and benefits, and to
return to a course of constructive engagement at the
negotiating table. But without unmistakable and
meaningful consequences, there seems little prospect for
such a return.

-- The international community has already imposed
strict measures on Iran via various multilateral fora to
demonstrate that Iran cannot ignore its responsibilities
without cost. We believe a more aggressive enforcement
of this existing and robust international framework,
along with the application of significant additional
pressure, will illustrate to Iran the sharp choices it
faces should it continue to rebuff efforts to resolve
our differences diplomatically.

-- Unity among members of the international community
is absolutely essential to demonstrate to Iran that
there are serious consequences for its continued refusal
to engage constructively with the international
community over its nuclear program. Such unity was
clear when the IAEA Board of Governors adopted its Iran
resolution in November. It was also clear in the
European Council's declaration on Iran issued in
December. Both were useful and immediate opportunities
to increase pressure on Iran.

-- We believe Iran's continued non-compliance regarding
its nuclear program deserves the full and urgent
attention of the international community.

Next Steps

-- We stand behind our offer to engage with Iran, but we
are rapidly approaching the moment when we will have to
give full meaning to all elements of our strategy. We,
along with our partners, believe that the time has come
to increase pressure on Iran. Such pressure is
necessary to uphold the integrity of the UNSC and IAEA,
and demonstrate that continued non-compliance has

-- The U.S. believes that multilateral pressure would be
best achieved through new UN Security Council action and
swift implementation of that action.

-- However, UN action alone may not be sufficient to
persuade Iran to change course. There is much more that
can and should be done immediately to implement measures
already required under the existing international
sanctions framework. We therefore ask our partners to

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ensure that we are collectively enforcing all those
measures that are already in place as comprehensively as

-- We regret that Iran has missed repeated opportunities
for meaningful engagement. Our intent is not to
escalate a conflict, but to press for a diplomatic
resolution. Inaction is what the Iranians are hoping
for, as they draw closer to achieving a nuclear weapons

-- On January 16, we and our P5+1 partners met to take
stock and discuss next steps regarding Iran. As the
Chair's statement reflects, we agreed that Iran has
failed to follow up on the key understandings reached in
our meeting with the Iranian delegation on October 1,
2009. We are united and remain committed to our
approach - while we will continue to seek a negotiated
diplomatic solution, we believe it is time for
consideration of appropriate further measures.

-- We are here today to intensify our consultations with
you, as one of our partners in the international
community, on next appropriate steps aimed to persuade
Iran to bring its nuclear program into full compliance
with its international obligations.

-- We urge these steps with steady determination that we
must do everything we can, including applying greater
pressure, to encourage Iran to return to a constructive
course of engagement.


-- As we move ahead with and beyond the UN process, we
also will want to work with you to agree on additional
actions we could take on a coordinated, national basis
to magnify the impact of a new Security Council
Resolution and demonstrate to Iran our seriousness of

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