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Cablegate: Finland Affirms Support for Pressure On Iran

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHHE #0051 0351557
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 041557Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5430

C O N F I D E N T I A L HELSINKI 000051

SIPDIS

ISN/RA FOR RICHARD NEPHEW
NEA/FO FOR ELISA CATALANO

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/03/2030
TAGS: FI IR PARM PREL
SUBJECT: FINLAND AFFIRMS SUPPORT FOR PRESSURE ON IRAN

REF: A. SECSTATE 9124
B. HELSINKI 374

Classified By: DCM Michael Butler, Reasons 1.4(b) and (d)

1. (C) In a February 4 meeting, DCM presented reftel points
to MFA Undersecretary for Political Affairs Markus Lyra.
Lyra responded that "we agree with your views," and that
Finland believed both talk and pressure would be necessary to
convince Iran to comply with international norms in its
nuclear activities. The most effective way to do so would be
with new and strengthened UN sanctions, but autonomous EU
sanctions might be necessary if efforts at the UN failed. He
confirmed that his views on EU sanctions were shared by FM
Stubb.

2. (C) Lyra reflected on his ten years of work in dealing
with Iran off and on, noting that on his last visit to
Tehran, just before Ahmadinejad's first election, he had
urged the Iranians to take the path of South Africa rather
than North Korea. He noted that he no longer gets
invitations to visit Tehran, as he used to. When queried as
to whether the GOF might go public with its views on the
nuclear issue if it were asked to do so, Lyra said "no
problem" without hesitation. NOTE: Lyra will leave to take
up his position as Ambassador to Sweden in a few days. His
announced replacement will be Jaakko Laajava, Finland's
current Ambassador to the UK.
ORECK

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