209017 5/28/2009 11:32 09STATE54469 Secretary of State UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY 09BUCHAREST306 VZCZCXRO4739 PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDE RUEHDF RUEHDIR RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKUK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHTRO RUEHVK RUEHYG DE RUEHC #4469/01 1481145 ZNR UUUUU ZZH P R 281132Z MAY 09 FM SECSTATE WASHDC TO RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 8606 RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN PRIORITY 1426 RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST PRIORITY 1545 RUEHUP/AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST PRIORITY 6721 RUEHPG/AMEMBASSY PRAGUE PRIORITY 0217 RUEHSF/AMEMBASSY SOFIA PRIORITY 3283 RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA PRIORITY 8294 RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY INFO EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IRAN COLLECTIVE RUEHKB/AMEMBASSY BAKU 8579 RUEHAH/AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT 1142 RUEHTA/AMEMBASSY ASTANA 2547 RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS 7190 RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 6278 UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 STATE 054469
E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: EPET, ENRG, ECON, PREL SUBJECT: DEMARCHE REQUEST: U.S. POSITION ON IRAN AS A SOURCE OF GAS IN NABUCCO ISA
REF: BUCHAREST 306
1. (SBU) SUMMARY AND ACTION REQUEST: Washington has reviewed the draft of the Nabucco Inter-State Agreement (ISA) and shares the concerns expressed by Romania in reftel. As currently written, the ISA defines "Initial Entry Points" through which gas would enter the Nabucco Project as being the Turkish borders with Georgia, Iraq and Iran; conspicuously deferring a decision to include gas crossing "any other point at the eastern or southern Turkish border," i.e, from Armenia or Syria. There are no caveats regarding inclusion of gas from Iran in Nabucco. So long as Iran refuses to comply with its UNSC, IAEA, and NPT responsibilities, the United States remains opposed to inclusion of gas from Iran into Nabucco or any other project. We understand the next negotiating session on this text will take place in Vienna on Thursday, May 28. Action Request: Posts are requested to demarche appropriate European Commission and host government officials using the talking points in paragraph 3 to note U.S. concerns about the current draft and to support changes to the ISA along the lines of those suggested by Romania. END SUMMARY AND ACTION REQUEST.
2. (SBU) The current draft ISA includes the following point: (7) Initial Entry Points shall mean the starting points of the Nabucco Project at the Turkish/Georgian, Turkish/Iranian, and/or Turkish/Iraqi borders in the Republic of Turkey at a point on those borders to be selected by Nabucco International Company and, subject to agreement by the Nabucco Committee in consultation with Nabucco International Company, any other point at the eastern or southern Turkish border."
3. (SBU) Begin Talking Points:
-- The United States remains opposed to the inclusion of gas from Iran in any Southern Corridor energy project. We have frequently made this view known to supporters of these projects, including the Nabucco Pipeline and the Turkey-Greece-Italy Interconnector. The United States does not support the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline because Swiss firm EGL signed a contract in Tehran to fill half of that pipeline's capacity with Iranian gas.
-- We have reviewed the draft Nabucco Inter-State Agreement (ISA) and we object to language in the ISA that defines one of the "Initial Entry Points" for gas to enter the Nabucco Project as at the Turkish/Iranian border; clearly implying that gas from Iran is currently considered a potential source of gas for Nabucco. This reference is without any caveats making the use of Iranian gas conditional upon Tehran fulfilling its international commitments.
-- The use of such language in a high-profile international agreement sends the wrong message to Iran at a time when it continues to defy its international obligations. We are serious about our efforts to engage Iran, but we are also serious about the need to maintain current pressure on Iran to comply with its UNSC, IAEA, and NPT responsibilities.
-- The reference to the inclusion of Iranian gas does not advance the international community's efforts to reach a diplomatic solution with Iran. We anticipate your country will discourage any energy deals with Iran that would undermine these efforts.
-- If the current language regarding Iran is included in the final approved version of the ISA, the United States will make its objections to this clause known.
-- The U.S. Department of State closely reviews information about oil and gas deals with Iran in light of the Iran Sanctions Act.
STATE 00054469 002 OF 002
-- The United States understands that ISA negotiators have discussed various approaches to define "Initial Entry Points" under the ISA. The United States strongly supports an approach that limits the definition of "Initial Entry Points" for the Nabucco Project to sites on Turkey's borders with Georgia and Iraq. The U.S. remains open to the possibility that this definition could include a provision for subsequent agreement among States Parties, at a later stage of the project, to select starting points at other sites on Turkey's eastern or southern border, without reference to any other specific State.
-- This approach leaves open the possibility of gas flowing into Nabucco from Iran if there is positive progress with Iran and it fulfills its international commitments. Likewise, gas could also flow from Armenia and Syria if future circumstances make these options politically and economically feasible.
-- (If pressed) If limiting the definition of initial entry points to sites on Turkey's borders with Georgia and Iraq proves unacceptable, the U.S. can accept a formulation in which the phrase "Initial Entry Points" is defined solely by reference to the eastern and southern borders of Turkey, without reference to any other specific State.
End Talking Points. CLINTON