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Cablegate: Brazil has Not Addressed Amcit Cases with Iran

VZCZCXYZ0003
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBR #0009 0111939
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 111939Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0291
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO

C O N F I D E N T I A L BRASILIA 000009

SIPDIS
AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PASS TO AMCONSUL RECIFE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/01/11
TAGS: PREL PHUM CASC BR IR
SUBJECT: Brazil Has Not Addressed Amcit Cases with Iran

REF: 09 STATE 129480

CLASSIFIED BY: Lisa Kubiske, Charge d'Affaires; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)

1. (C) The Government of Brazil has not discussed with the
Government of Iran the cases of the six American citizens detained
or missing in Iran. Reftel was delivered to the Ministry of
Foreign Relations (Itamaraty) Iran desk officer Roberto Salome
(currently acting head of the Iran/Central Asia desk) on December
28; he offered no immediate reply at that time.

2. (C) On January 5, Undersecretary for Political Affairs Vera
Machado met with the Iranian Ambassador. According to Salome, who
attended the meeting and gave his readout to poloff on January 7,
Machado pressed the Iranian Ambassador on treatment of the Baha'i,
specifically the seven Iranian citizens who will be placed on trial
on January 12. The Iranian Ambassador told Machado that Iran has
complete religious freedom, but that Baha'i is not a religion but
rather a secret society implanted by the British during the
colonial era, and that its followers are spies subject to judgment.
The meeting ended shortly thereafter without discussion of other
subjects. Salome told poloff that Machado said to him on the way
back, "They must think we're stupid."

3. (C) Salome said that the American citizen cases were not on the
agenda because President Lula's office specifically instructed
Itamaraty to request a meeting to discuss the Baha'i and the
Iranian Embassy responded immediately. When pressed, Salome said
that Itamaraty had no problem delivering direct messages from the
USG, such as about the detained and missing Amcits. He seemed,
however, to be missing direction from higher-ranking officers, many
of whom are on vacation and will be reluctant to use their capital
with the Iranian government on this issue. Salome emphasized that
the GOB believes that Iran should return the Amcits immediately,
without attempting to link the cases to negotiations about Iran's
nuclear program or other issues. With more senior officials now
beginning to return from leave, post will continue to raise the
issue and report on any subsequent replies.
KUBISKE

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