179867 11/24/2008 18:18 08BERN600 Embassy Bern SECRET 08STATE123074 VZCZCXYZ0008 OO RUEHWEB DE RUEHSW #0600/01 3291818 ZNY SSSSS ZZH O 241818Z NOV 08 FM AMEMBASSY BERN TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5473 INFO RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 0280 RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 0578 RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN PRIORITY 0755 RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 0140 RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST PRIORITY 0810 RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES PRIORITY 0062 RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 0073 RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 0864 RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 0128 RUEHDL/AMEMBASSY DUBLIN PRIORITY 0085 RUEHHE/AMEMBASSY HELSINKI PRIORITY 1163 RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0489 RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID PRIORITY 3284 RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO PRIORITY 0195 RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 0612 RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 0128 RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 2089 RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0746 RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA PRIORITY 0119 RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 0683 RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON PRIORITY 0062 RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA PRIORITY 0071 S E C R E T BERN 000600
DEPT FOR ISN/RA (R.NEPHEW; J.DANIEL), IO/T (H.VONBEHREN), NEA, EUR/PRA, AND EUR/CE (Y.SAINT-ANDRE)
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/24/2018 TAGS: PARM, IAEA, KNNP, MNUC, IR, SY SUBJECT: IAEA REPORTS ON IRANIAN AND SYRIAN NUCLEAR PROGRAMS
REF: STATE 123074
Classified By: POL/E Counselor Richard Rorvig; reasons 1.4(b) and (d).
1. (U) Poloff delivered the message in reftel on November 24 to Jean-Daniel Praz, Deputy Head of the Arms Control and Disarmament Section and POC for IAEA issues at the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (EDA).
2. (C) Praz said that the GOS was not surprised by the latest IAEA report on Iran. He acknowledged that the Iranians have provided no cooperation to the IAEA since the last report. Praz said that Switzerland again would make a statement at the November 27-28 Board of Governors (BOG) meeting, along the lines of the previous Swiss statement, calling on Iran to cooperate with the IAEA and to meet its international obligations. He remarked that the GOS does not expect much with regard to Iran from the upcoming BOG, "as neither the EU3 nor the USG apparently plan to propose a resolution, which the Russians would be against anyway."
3. (S) Praz assessed that the Iranians, having increased their technical capacity to enrich uranium, would be less inclined than before to halt their program, and presumably would demand more from the P5-plus-1 in any negotiation. He suggested that the Iranians may be waiting to see what the next U.S. Administration will do. Praz noted that some Western observers may be waiting to see whether the 2009 presidential elections in Iran will result in significant changes in Iran's nuclear policy -- something that Praz said he doubts, arguing that the Iranians likely will stick to their current positions, regardless of whether Ahmedinejad, Khatami, or Larijani, for example, is elected. Praz mentioned in passing that he had heard from contacts in Vienna that EU HiRep Solana will meet in Brussels on December 9 with Iranian National Security Council Secretary Jalili, on the margins of some kind of workshop on nuclear energy.
4. (C) Praz commented that the IAEA Secretariat's report on Syria was "embarrassing" for Damascus. He said that Switzerland will make a national statement at the upcoming BOG, and will call for Syria to respond positively to all IAEA requests for cooperation. Regarding the idea of a possible BOG resolution on Syria, Praz said that it seemed "premature", adding that pursuing such a course at this point could be problematic. While acknowledging that Syria had denied the IAEA access to several sites, Praz said that because Syria does not have an Additional Protocol, it still is technically "okay" in terms of its agreements with the IAEA. While acknowledging that the IAEA findings are cause for concern, Praz still argued for waiting to see how Syria will react to the scrutiny and calls by the IAEA for more cooperation.
5. (C) Regarding the Technical Cooperation (TC) project requested by Syria in the IAEA's Technical Assistance and Cooperation Committee (TACC), Praz argued that it "could be dangerous to politicize this issue," given the number of countries in the Middle East that have plans for nuclear programs but lack technical expertise, particularly in the area of nuclear safety. He expressed the hope that the issue would not become contentious, assessing that a number of countries might resist vehemently an effort to block a TC project recommended by the IAEA Secretariat. While not putting Switzerland in the "vehement" camp, he conceded that Switzerland would favor such technical cooperation. CONEWAY