193229 2/22/2009 20:18 09STATE16285 Secretary of State SECRET VZCZCXYZ0000 OO RUEHWEB DE RUEHC #6285 0532034 ZNY SSSSS ZZH O 222018Z FEB 09 FM SECSTATE WASHDC TO RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0000 RUEHTI/AMEMBASSY TIRANA IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHOU/AMEMBASSY OUAGADOUGOU IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHHE/AMEMBASSY HELSINKI IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHDL/AMEMBASSY DUBLIN IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHVL/AMEMBASSY VILNIUS IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHKL/AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHML/AMEMBASSY MANILA IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHSW/AMEMBASSY BERN IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO IMMEDIATE 0000 INFO RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA IMMEDIATE 0000 RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS IMMEDIATE 0000 S E C R E T STATE 016285
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/18/2029 TAGS: KNNP, PARM, IAEA, MNUC, IR, SYR, TRGY SUBJECT: IAEA REPORTS ON IRAN AND SYRIA
CLASSIFIED BY: ISN - C. S. ELIOT KANG, ACTING FOR REASONS 1.4(B) AND (D)
1. (U) This is an action request. See paragraphs 6-9.
2. (SBU) International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General (DG) ElBaradei released his latest reports on the status of the IAEA's investigations into Iran and Syria's nuclear programs on 19 February 2009. Both reports conformed to expectations in describing the absence of any meaningful steps by either country to address the serious issues that exist with respect to their nuclear programs.
3. (SBU) With respect to Iran, DG ElBaradei's description of the dichotomy between the stalled investigation and rapid pace of Iran's centrifuge advances is stark. The report underscores the number of outstanding issues that need to be clarified regarding possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program. The IAEA simply notes that it has "still not received a positive reply from Iran" regarding its request for access to relevant "information, documentation, locations or individuals." Consequently, "the Agency has not made any substantive progress on these issues." Iran's failure to cooperate with the IAEA in this regard suggests Iran continues to wish to hide the nature of these activities.
4. (SBU) At the same time, the IAEA reported that, far from having complied with its UNSC obligation to suspend its uranium enrichment and heavy water-related activities, Iran has continued to expand its activities at the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) and Arak Heavy Water Research Reactor. Approximately 5,500 centrifuges are operating, up from approximately 3,800 in November 2008. Of particular concern, the IAEA notes that since February 2007, Iran has produced 1,010 kilograms of low enriched uranium (LEU), a substantial increase over the 630 kilograms reported in November 2008. Approximately 1,300 kilograms of LEU would be sufficient for one nuclear weapon if Iran decided to go that route. Currently, this material remains under IAEA safeguards. Nevertheless, the risk posed in an Iranian breakout scenario, either from diversion of safeguarded nuclear material or through the covert enrichment of undeclared nuclear material, is higher than in the past. Morever, Iran continues to deny the IAEA access to the Arak reactor to conduct a Design Information Verification inspection which would provide the IAEA assurances that the construction of the reactor does not serve as a pathway to divert nuclear material for weapons purposes.
5. (SBU) DG ElBaradei's report on Syria reinforces our conclusion that Syria was engaged in a clandestine effort to construct and operate a nuclear reactor at Al Kibar. The report also helps to confirm that uranium found via environmental samples collected at the site is not naturally occurring, lending credence to the fact that the facility in question was a reactor. Although the report does not categorically dismiss Syria's explanation that the uranium was from Israeli missiles used in the attack on the reactor in September 2007, it suggests that this explanation is highly unlikely. Syria delivered an eleventh-hour letter on 17 February 2009 attempting to demonstrate a degree of cooperation immediately before the report's release. The report notes that the responses in the Syrian letter "were only partial ... and did not address most of the questions raised in the Agency's communications." Importantly, the report also calls on Syria to allow access to other locations and allow inspectors to take samples of the debris removed from Al Kibar as soon as possible, noting that these measures are "essential" for the IAEA to be able complete its assessment.
6. (SBU) ACTION REQUEST FOR ALL POSTS: Posts are requested to convey U.S. views regarding the IAEA reports to appropriate host governments. Posts should underscore that these reports demonstrate that neither Iran nor Syria have taken any meaningful steps to cooperate with the IAEA in the past six months. Posts should stress that Syria's refusal to do so only deepens concerns regarding the nature of its clandestine nuclear activities. With respect to Iran, Posts should emphasize that while Iran has stalled the IAEA's investigation and still refuses to provide the IAEA with requested transparency, its centrifuge program continues to make progress. The net result is that in neither case can the international community have confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of these nuclear programs. For Iran, the UN Security Council has imposed a mandatory requirement that it suspend all proliferation sensitive nuclear activities and cooperate fully with the IAEA. On Iran, we should stress that with international rights, come responsibilities. Iran needs to live up to those responsibilities. We believe that Iran's continued failure to do so is another opportunity lost.
7. (SBU) ACTION REQUEST FOR ALL POSTS CONT: With respect to the upcoming 2-6 March 2009 IAEA Board of Governors' meeting, Posts should stress the need for the following from host governments:
-- Strong national statements on Iran and call on Iran to impement its international nuclear obligations without delay. Statements should urge Iran to take advantage of this critical opportunity for engagement by addressing the concerns of the international community and underscore the need for full transparency with the IAEA (including Iran's implementation of the Additional Protocol) and cooperation with the IAEA's investigation, as well as suspension of all proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities;
-- Strong national statements on Syria and a demand that Syria cooperate with the IAEA's investigation;
-- Strengthened statements on Iran and Syria from regional or other groups, e.g., European Union, the Group of 77 and China, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Group of Latin America and the Carribean; the Africa Group, etc. To the extent possible, Posts should encourage host goverments to instruct their delegations not to accept statements from any group to which they are a member that would downplay the factual reports of the IAEA, or undercut the Agency's ability to obtain the necessary information and access needed to resolve these serious issues; and,
-- Board members should support, by vote if necessary, releasing the Syria report to the public. This is essential for the public to appreciate the serious nature of Syria's failure to cooperate with the IAEA. This report will also demonstrate the level of transparency in IAEA affairs that we believe Syria should manifest in its approach to the IAEA.
8. (S) ACTION REQUEST FOR UNVIE: In addition to conveying these messages to local IAEA Missions, UNVIE should continue working to promote support within the IAEA Secretariat and among IAEA Board Members for continuing and expanding the investigation into both Iran and Syria's nuclear activities and pressuring both to cooperate with the respective investigations. Mission is requested to place maximum effort into securing strong national statements demanding Iranian and Syrian cooperation with the IAEA by as many Board members as possible, particularly those in the EU. Mission should also work to support a P5+1 statement on Iran. Mission's efforts to build support for such statements should begin as soon as possible, and will be facilitated by technical briefings on Iran and Syria's nuclear efforts to Board members in Washington and Vienna the week prior to the Board meeting. These briefings will be provided by State and IC nonproliferation experts. Mission is also requested to ensure that the IAEA Director General's forthcoming report on Syria is made public, including by laying the groundwork for a vote in the Board if necessary. If possible politically and statutorily, Mission should seek the concurrent release of the November 2008 Syria report, which was denied public release by NAM/Arab intervention at the November 2008 Board meeting. Mission should begin coordinating with likeminded Board members at the earliest possible date.
9. (S) ACTION REQUEST FOR LONDON, PARIS, MOSCOW, BERLIN, AND BEIJING: In addition to conveying U.S. views regarding the Iran and Syria reports, Posts should stress that the United States believes that the Iran report reinforces the need for a strong P5+1 statement demanding Iran's immediate and full cooperation with the IAEA. Discussions regarding specific texts will be addressed in Vienna and Washington.
POCS AND REPORTING DEADLINE
10. (SBU) Mission is requested to report on the status of its efforts in advance of the Board. Richard Nephew (202-647-7680) and Matt Goldstein (202-647-4196) are the Department's POCs for this issue. CLINTON