179138 11/20/2008 0:19 08STATE123074 Secretary of State CONFIDENTIAL O 200019Z NOV 08 FM SECSTATE WASHDC TO AMEMBASSY ACCRA IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY ALGIERS IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY ANKARA IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY BEIJING IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY BERLIN IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY BERN IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY BRASILIA IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY CAIRO IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY CANBERRA IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY DUBLIN IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY HELSINKI IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY KABUL IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY MADRID IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY MANILA IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY MEXICO IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY MOSCOW IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY OTTAWA IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY OUAGADOUGOU IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY PARIS IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY PRETORIA IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY QUITO IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY RIYADH IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY TIRANA IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY TOKYO IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY VILNIUS IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON IMMEDIATE USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA IMMEDIATE INFO AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS IMMEDIATE USINT HAVANA IMMEDIATE C O N F I D E N T I A L STATE 123074
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/19/2018 TAGS: KNNP, MNUC, PARM, IAEA, IR, TRGY
SUBJECT: IAEA REPORTS ON IRANIAN AND SYRIAN NUCLEAR PROGRAMS
Classified By: ISN - PATRICIA A. MCNERNEY, REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D)
1. (U) This is an action request. Please see paragraphs 7-8.
2. (C) OBJECTIVES:
-- To note the 19 November 2008 release of reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on the status of its respective investigations into the Iranian and Syrian nuclear programs.
-- To urge host governments to make strong statements on Iran at the 27-28 November 2008 meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors in response to Iran's continuing failure to resolve any of the outstanding issues that surround its nuclear program or to comply with its international nonproliferation obligations.
-- To gauge the level of support for the adoption by the IAEA Board of a resolution on Syria, which the U.S. supports as a way to highlight Syria's failure to address serious concerns that have been raised with its nuclear program and lend support to the IAEA Secretariat,s continued investigation.
-- To urge host governments to support efforts during the IAEA,s Technical Assistance and Cooperation Committee (TACC) meetings 24-26 November 2008 to prevent the approval and implementation of a Syria-requested Technical Cooperation (TC) project associated with the construction of a nuclear power plant in Syria, in light of the IAEA's 19 November report.
3. (SBU) BACKGROUND: On 19 November 2008, the IAEA released its latest report on Iran and its first written report on Syria's nuclear program. These reports are summarized below. The results are not positive.
4. (SBU) BACKGROUND CONT: With respect to Iran, the report makes clear that there has been no progress with regard to addressing the serious concerns that exist with Iran's nuclear program but indicates that Iran continues to make progressto augment its capabilities. The report states that Iran refuses to provide explanations to the IAEA on its past efforts to develop a nuclear warhead. In particular, the Director General notes that "unfortunately, Iran has not offered any cooperation with the Agency since (its September 2008) report and has not yet provided the requested information, or access to the requested documentation, locations or individuals." The report also underscores Iran's failure to comply with its UNSC obligation to suspend all uranium enrichment-related, reprocessing and heavy water-related activities. Additional specific details include:
-- The report notes that Iran continues to enrich uranium at its Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant using approximately 3,820 centrifuges and that installation and testing work is proceeding with respect to an additional 2,132 centrifuges. Iran is also continuing to prepare for the installation of a further 9,000 centrifuges at this plant.
-- The report also notes that Iran's stockpile of low enriched uranium hexafluoride has reached 630 kilograms, an increase of 150 kilograms since the end of August 2008 and over half of the amount Iran would need for one nuclear weapon (assuming that uranium was further enriched to weapons-useable levels).
-- The report states that Iran continues to construct a heavy water research reactor at Arak, but that Iran has refused to permit the IAEA to conduct a Design Information Verification (DIV) inspection at the site. Absent this inspection, the IAEA is "not able to verify the current status of its construction." Further, since the IAEA's requested access is fully consistent with Iran's Safeguards Agreement, Iran's refusal raises further questions about its intentions and compliance with its international obligations.
-- Consequently, this report is unambiguous in its depiction of Iran's multiple failures to take steps demanded needed establish confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program. In its conclusion, Director General ElBaradei stresses that "unless Iran provides (requested) transparency, and implements the Additional Protocol, the Agency will not be able to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran."
5. (SBU) BACKGROUND CONT: With regard to Syria, this is the first written report that the IAEA has issued on its investigation in Syria. In so doing, the IAEA took a major first step towards formalizing the investigation. The fact that the report was released and that the IAEA Board will discuss this issue as a set agenda item at its November meeting is therefore a setback for Syria. The report sharply contradicts Syria's version of events.
-- In its most significant revelation, the report describes the presence of man-made uranium particles at the Al-Kibar site. Syria claims that any uranium found was introduced by Israeli bombs when the reactor was destroyed, a claim that the IAEA will discuss with Israel. Syria also alleges that only one of the IAEA's sample results detected uranium. The report states clearly that "a number of the Agency's Network of Analytical Laboratories" had detected &a significant number of uranium particles8 that have been chemically processed.
-- The report describes the fact that Syria originally contended that the site could not have supported a nuclear reactor "because of, inter alia, the unreliable and insufficient electricity supplies in the area, the limited availability of human resources in Syria, and the unavailability of large quantities of treated water." The report then goes on to dismiss the majority of these arguments, noting that the Agency's evaluation was that water and electrictical resources for the site were sufficient for a reactor of the size Syria was alleged to have constructed.
-- The report also describes the fact that imagery from both before and after the September 2007 bombing supports the view that Al-Kibar housed a reactor. The report notes that "its containment structure appears to have been similar in dimension and layout to that required for a biological shield for nuclear reactors, and the overall size of the building was sufficient to house the equipment for a nuclear reactor of the type alleged."
-- The IAEA notes that it has information that Syrian entities procured "materials and equipment which could support the construction and operation of a nuclear reactor." Syria has not provided requested information to address this concern.
-- The report notes that the IAEA has information and satellite imagery that suggests that three additional locations could be related to the facility at Al-Kibar. The report notes that, as a result, the IAEA requested access to these locations on 2 May 2008. This access has not been granted. However, according to the report, "analysis of satellite imagery taken of these locations indicates that landscaping activities and the removal of large containers took place shortly after the Agency's request for access." Syria has been requested to explain these activities and to permit the IAEA access to those locations.
-- The Director General concludes his report by noting that "while it cannot be excluded that the building in question (at Al-Kibar) was intended for non-nuclear use, the features of the building(along with the connectivity of the site to adequate pumping capacity of cooling water, are similar to what may be found in connection with a reactor site. Syria has not yet provided the requested documentation in support of its declarations concerning the nature or function of the destroyed building, nor agreed to a visit to the three other locations which the Agency has requested to visit."
6. (SBU) BACKGROUND CONT: Seperately, Syria has requested that the IAEA support a feasibility study and site survey in Syria for a nuclear power plant (NPP) under the IAEA Technical Cooperation (TC) program. The United States believes that such a project would be highly inappropriate given Syria's failure to resolve the outstanding concerns about its undeclared nuclear activities. This project could present a serious risk of nuclear technology and assistance to diversion, and permit Syria to procure sensitive items (such as nuclear measurement equipment) under the guise of supporting this TC project. Moreover, detailed analysis of the project proposal demonstrates that there are serious inconsistencies between standard feasibility studies and what has been requested (e.g., while the IAEA has noted that Syria is not in a position technically to support a NPP, the IAEA has simultaneously apparently endorsed a project to determine the siting of said NPP). This project will be first discussed at the IAEA Technical Assistance and Cooperation Committee (TACC) meetings taking place 24-26 November, and then again at the IAEA Board meetings on 27-28 November.
7. (SBU) ACTION REQUEST: Using the background provided in paragraphs 3-6, Posts are requested to raise U.S. views on these reports with highest appropriate host government interlocutors. With respect to Iran, posts should stress that Iran's failure to cooperate fully with the IAEA or to comply with its UNSC obligation to suspend its proliferation sensitive nuclear activities remains deeply troubling. Posts should urge host governments to express their strongest possible concern with this situation in their national statements at the upcoming November Board of Governors meeting. Key points should include Iran's failure to address the IAEA's "serious concerns" regarding past weaponization-related activities, its refusal to take any confidence-building steps despite the UNSC's repeated demands, Iran's denial of access to the Arak reactor despite its obligation to permit inspections of the facility, and the urgent need to support the IAEA Secretariat in continuing with its investigation.
8. (SBU) ACTION REQUEST CONT: Posts are also requested to raise serious U.S. concerns regarding Syria's nuclear program in light of the IAEA's sample results, and the Syrian government's failure to cooperate fully with the IAEA's investigation. Posts should underscore that Syria's refusal of access to requested facilities is a cause of concern. Posts should stress that Syria's non-cooperation strongly suggests that additional support should be given to the IAEA Secretariat at this critical and early juncture in its investigation, and that the United States believes the most appropriate vehicle for this would be a resolution adopted by the IAEA Board at its November meeting. Such a resolution would express support for the IAEA,s investigation, cite the status of the IAEA investigation to date, call on Syria to cooperate fully with the IAEA, call on the IAEA to report to the Board on the status of the investigation before the next meeting, and note that the Board will remain seized of the issue. Posts should gauge the level of support among host governments for a resolution at the upcoming Board. (NOTE TO POSTS: At this time the U.S. is seeking a like-minded proxy to introduce such a resolution so as to mitigate any claims that a resolution on Syria is politically motivated. As such, Posts should not suggest that the U.S. plans to introduce such a resolution.) Post should also note that, in light of Syria's non-cooperation and the specific concerns raised in paragraph 6, the United States believes that permitting Syria's receipt of technical assistance in a nuclear power plant feasibility study and site selection would be highly inappropriate. Posts should urge host governments to reject this project at the TACC and the Board.
9. (SBU) Posts are requested to report any substantive responses by 24 November 2008. Richard Nephew (ISN/RA, 202-647-7680, NephewRM@state.sgov.gov), Jody Daniel (ISN/RA, 202-647-9486, DanielJL@state.sgov.gov), and Heather Von Behren (IO/T, 202-647-2753, VonBehrenHW@state.sgov.gov) are the Department's POCs for this activity. RICE
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