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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09STATE120288 2009-11-21 01:01 2010-11-28 18:06 CONFIDENTIAL Secretary of State
DE RUEHC #0288/01 3250135
O 210127Z NOV 09
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 08 STATE 120288 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/10/2019 
Classified by NEA Assistant Secretary Jeffrey D. Feltman 
for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
1. (U) This is an action request.  Please see paragraphs 
2.  (C) Iran's continued reluctance to cooperate with 
international efforts to build confidence and 
transparency in its nuclear program will be of 
increasing concern to U.S. diplomacy in the weeks ahead. 
Of particular note is Iran's apparent refusal to date to 
agree to an IAEA proposal for Iran to exchange a 
significant portion of its stockpiled low-enriched 
uranium (LEU) for fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor 
(TRR), and the IAEA report of November 16 indicating 
serious unresolved questions about Iran's nuclear 
intentions.  Department requests posts to draw on the 
attached narrative in explaining and securing support 
for recent U.S. and P5+1 efforts to engage Iran on its 
nuclear program, particularly in the lead-up to the IAEA 
Board of Governors meeting on November 26.  End Summary. 
3.  (C) FOR ALL POSTS (except Moscow, Paris, Beijing, 
London and Berlin):  Please draw on narrative beginning 
in paragraph 7, and hard questions and answers in 
paragraph 12 to brief host governments on: 
-- Persistent U.S. efforts to engage Iran throughout 
-- Iran's disappointing follow-up to its commitments 
with P5+1 in Geneva on October 1; 
-- Details of the TRR proposal and the 
flexibility the U.S., Russia, France and the IAEA, have 
demonstrated to deal with Iranian concerns; and 
-- Key findings and implications of the IAEA Director 
General's November 16 report on Iran; and 
Posts should also begin laying the foundation for 
possible future action in response to Iran's non- 
cooperation, including at the IAEA (BoG) meeting on 26 
November and prudent preparation in the event of a 
decision to pursue increased pressure on Iran. 
LONDON, AND BERLIN:  Please inform host government that 
we are delivering this message to IAEA members, 
consistent with consultations among Political Directors 
in the P5+1 process.  Posts may share the general tenor 
of our message but do not need to deploy the points 
themselves with host governments. 
5.  (C) Posts should not leave any part of this message 
in writing with host governments. 
6.  (U) Posts should report the results of their efforts 
by November 25. Elisa Catalano (NEA/FO, 202-647-9533, and Richard Nephew (ISN/RA, 
202-647-7680, are the 
Department's POCs for this activity. 
7.  (SBU) Since the 1 October 2009 meeting of the P5+1 
Political Directors and representatives from Iran, the 
United States has been working closely with its partners 
to fulfill the commitments reached in Geneva and engage 
with Iran to build international confidence in the 
peaceful nature of its nuclear program.  In particular, 
we have focused on supporting the IAEA's proposal for 
refueling the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR), 
facilitating the IAEA's inspection of the previously 
clandestine uranium enrichment plant at Qom, and 
pressing for a follow-on meeting between P5+1 Political 
Directors and Iranian representatives explicitly on 
STATE 00120288  002 OF 008 
Iran's nuclear program. 
8.  (C) The results since October 1 have been 
disappointing.  It increasingly appears that Iran will 
decline the IAEA's proposal on TRR, though a definitive 
answer remains outstanding.  In the lead-up to the IAEA 
Board of Governors (BOG) meeting on November 26, Iran 
may try to blame the apparent failure of the TRR 
agreement on intrusive and inflexible demands by western 
powers, rather than its own reluctance or inability to 
reach agreement on the IAEA proposal which responded to 
Iran's request for assistance and was created on the 
basis of Iran's own commitments made in Geneva. 
Although Iran granted IAEA access to Qom, Iran did not 
cooperate with all of the IAEA's requests for access to 
information and personnel and there remain serious 
questions about Iran's intentions for the facility. 
Finally, Iran so far has refused a further meeting with 
the P5+1 to discuss its nuclear program.  The United 
States is now discussing with its P5+1 and other 
partners potential next steps, including how to handle 
these issues at the next meeting of the IAEA BOG. 
9. (SBU) IAEA Director General (DG) ElBaradei released 
his latest report on Iran on November 16.  The report 
makes clear Iran's continuing lack of transparency and 
cooperation with the IAEA on its nuclear program, 
including in assessing a possible military dimension to 
its program.  As expected, the uranium enrichment 
facility at Qom (also known as the Fordow site) was a 
central element of the report, and the IAEA states that 
Iran's previous failure to declare the facility is 
"inconsistent" with its obligations under its Safeguards 
Agreement. The IAEA's report highlights that revelation 
of the Qom facility raises concerns of additional 
clandestine nuclear sites in Iran and has asked Iran to 
confirm that there are no other undeclared nuclear 
facilities; Iran has yet to respond to this IAEA 
request.  Iran continues to defy UNSC resolutions and 
IAEA BOG resolutions calling on it to adopt the 
Additional Protocol and to provide the access necessary 
for the IAEA to provide assurance as to the absence of 
additional undeclared nuclear activities. 
10.  (C) The P5+1 "dual track" policy towards Iran 
includes both engagement and pressure if Iran does not 
engage constructively.  President Obama, Secretary 
Clinton, and others have identified the end of the year 
as a key period for assessing Iran's responsiveness.  If 
Iran continues to refuse to take meaningful steps to 
meet its international obligations, the international 
community must be prepared to take strong collective 
action on the pressure track. 
11.  (U) Posts should draw on the following key messages 
and policy narrative in briefing host governments. 
Key Messages 
-- We, in coordination with our international partners, 
have demonstrated our willingness to engage 
constructively and respectfully with Iran to address 
long-standing international concerns over its nuclear 
program.  Our approach has clearly and consistently been 
based on the P5+1's dual track strategy. 
-- Iran so far has failed to accept a very good and 
balanced IAEA proposal to facilitate the refueling of 
the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR) which would have 
fulfilled an Iranian request, addressed a humanitarian 
need of the Iranian people, and served as a confidence- 
building step to create an opportunity for further 
-- We look forward to close consultations on how best to 
persuade Iran to engage constructively as we approach 
the IAEA's Board of Governors meeting on November 26 and 
Policy Narrative 
-- Since President Obama took office, he has made clear 
the willingness of the United States to engage with Iran 
and to seek a new relationship based on mutual respect. 
-- He has authorized the United States' full 
participation in diplomatic discussions between the five 
permanent members of the Security Council and Germany 
STATE 00120288  003 OF 008 
and Iran without pre-conditions. 
-- The United States has stated its support for Iran's 
full right to a civilian nuclear program within IAEA 
guidelines, provided Iran meets it international 
obligations and carries out its responsibilities within 
the NPT framework. 
-- As a way to build confidence, the United States, with 
Russia and France, has also supported the IAEA's 
proposal to positively respond to Iran's request for 
nuclear fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR), in 
spite of Iran's continuing violation of UNSC resolutions 
and noncompliance with IAEA requirements on its nuclear 
-- However, almost one year into the Obama 
administration, Iran has not taken practical, concrete 
steps that would begin to create confidence in its 
nuclear intentions.  Iran: 
o       Continues to enrich uranium despite UNSC 
requirements that it suspend such operations; 
o       Revealed it had been building a secret uranium 
enrichment facility at a military base near Qom, 
in violation of its safeguards agreement ; 
o       Continues to refuse cooperation with the IAEA in 
addressing the full range of IAEA questions about 
the peaceful purposes of its nuclear program; 
o       Has not accepted the IAEA proposal to refuel the 
TRR; and 
o       Since meeting with representatives of the five 
permanent members of the Security Council and 
Germany in Geneva on October 1, has refused all 
subsequent efforts to schedule another meeting to 
discuss its nuclear program. 
-- Iran's failure to take advantage of these numerous 
opportunities raises serious questions about the 
intentions of its nuclear program that deserve urgent 
international attention.  We look to work closely with 
your government in the run-up to IAEA Board of Governors 
meeting on November 26 and beyond to develop an 
appropriate international response. 
Tehran Research Reactor 
-- The IAEA, Russia, France and the United States 
cooperated closely and flexibly to find a way to 
positively respond to Iran's request for fuel for the 
Tehran Research Reactor (TRR) so that it could keep 
running to meet humanitarian medical needs beyond 2010. 
-- The TRR refueling proposal offers Iran the 
opportunity to convert its stockpile of low enriched 
uranium (LEU) into higher-enriched fuel with the help of 
Russia and France.  The proposal's elements are simple: 
o       Iran would transfer a portion of its LEU 
necessary for fuel production in one batch to 
IAEA custody outside of Iran before the end of 
the year; 
o       Russia would further enrich the LEU to meet fuel 
requirements; and 
o       France would fabricate the fuel assemblies and 
return them to Iran before Iran's fuel supplies 
are depleted before the end of the year. 
-- In addition the United States expressed a commitment 
to work with the IAEA to improve safety and control 
features at the TRR. 
-- The U.S., France and Russia took great risks in 
supporting the deal, especially in light of Iran's 
continuing violation of successive UNSC resolutions and 
IAEA requirements, including its secret construction of 
a uranium enrichment facility near Qom, and its 
continuing enrichment operations. 
-- We did so because the arrangement would begin to 
build confidence and would give Iran and the 
international community more time to reach a 
comprehensive negotiated solution to Iran's nuclear 
program, while fulfilling Iran's humanitarian needs. 
-- When Iran expressed concern about the reliability of 
the proposal, the United States and its partners 
expressed to the IAEA a willingness to address Iran's 
concerns, including through: 
o       a U.S. offer to formally join the deal as a 
STATE 00120288  004 OF 008 
o       a readiness of the five permanent members of the 
Security Council and Germany to guarantee the 
deal through a political statement of support; 
o       a willingness to help secure finance for the 
movement of the LEU and fuel; 
o       an openness to move the LEU to any number of 
locations outside of Iran; and 
o       a willingness to support the IAEA's holding 
material equivalent to the fuel in escrow in a 
third country as a guarantee for Iran of the 
fuel's ultimate delivery. 
-- After reaching an agreement in principle in the deal 
following talks with the E3+3 in Geneva on October 1, 
and following further technical discussions at the IAEA 
October 19-21, Iran has so far failed to accept the 
-- This raises a question about Iran's intentions.  If 
Iran is enriching uranium to meet its civilian reactor 
fuel needs, why would it not accept an international 
offer (with significant guarantees) to provide its LEU 
for fuel to power the TRR to meet its humanitarian 
needs, particularly when it does not have the capability 
to produce the fuel on its own? 
-- This question is troubling in the context of Iran's 
continued enrichment activities in defiance of UNSC 
resolutions; its secret construction of an enrichment 
facility on a military base near Qom; its refusal to 
cooperate with the IAEA in answering questions about the 
peaceful nature of its nuclear program; and its refusal 
to meet with the five permanent members of the Security 
-- Together with our P5+1 partners, the United States 
informed Iranian representatives in Geneva on October 1 
of our willingness to discuss any items of concern to 
Iran - both bilaterally and multilaterally - in addition 
to our concerns about Iran's nuclear program. 
-- On October 1, Iran's representatives committed to 
meet again before the end of the month based on an 
agenda that included Iran's nuclear program.  Since that 
time, however, the Iranian government has refused all 
invitations to meet if its nuclear program would be on 
the agenda. 
-- Iran's continued refusal to engage on its nuclear 
program with the P5+1 deepens our concerns about Iran's 
intentions for its nuclear program. 
The IAEA Director General's Report on Iran 
-- The IAEA report makes clear that Iran has failed to 
cooperate fully and transparently with the IAEA.  Key 
aspects of the report include: 
---- Iran's new centrifuge facility at Qom - built in 
violation of Iran's UNSC obligations and not declared to 
the IAEA as required - has been inspected, but its 
purpose and origin remain unknown.  And, Iran has not 
yet cooperated with all of the IAEA's requests for 
access to information and personnel.  Iran's failure to 
provide the IAEA with early design information regarding 
the Qom facility has been deemed "inconsistent with its 
obligations under the Subsidiary Arrangements to its 
Safeguards Agreement" by the IAEA.  Furthermore, the 
relatively small size of the facility at Qom is 
inconsistent with Iran's assertion that it is to provide 
fuel for Iran's civilian reactors, raising questions 
about the planned use of the Qom facility. 
---- The Agency noted that Iran's failure to declare the 
Qom facility also "reduces the level of confidence in 
the absence of other nuclear facilities under 
construction and gives rise to questions about whether 
there were any other nuclear facilities in Iran that had 
not been declared to the Agency." 
---- These concerns have been compounded by the 
continued pace of Iranian enrichment and steadfast 
refusal to abide by the UNSC's legal requirement that 
Iran suspend all such work.  Instead, Iran continues to 
produce low enriched uranium and estimated its stockpile 
at 1763 kilograms at the end of October. 
Notwithstanding a reduction in the number of enriching 
centrifuges by approximately 600 since August 2009, this 
is roughly a similar rate of production as Iran has 
STATE 00120288  005 OF 008 
achieved for the past year. 
---- Iran continues to install and test additional 
centrifuges, with more than 1,000 new centrifuges added 
since August 2009. 
---- The IAEA has discovered a previously unknown cache 
of heavy water in storage at Esfahan, and has requested 
Iran to explain its origin.  It is important to note 
that UN Security Council resolutions include a ban on 
supplying Iran with heavy water. 
---- It also asked Iran to provide further information 
describing an analytical laboratory that Iran says it 
plans to install underground at Esfahan. 
---- There has been no progress made in addressing 
issues associated with Iran's efforts to develop a 
nuclear warhead, despite a year having passed since the 
last such conversation and many open questions that 
surround this work. 
-- If Iran wishes to begin to resolve international 
concerns, it should comply with its international 
obligations, cooperate fully with the IAEA, grant the 
access requested (such as to individuals and workshops 
associated with past weaponization efforts, and to 
individuals responsible for managing Qom), and answer 
the questions it has been asked.  Iran has created this 
confidence deficit and it is up to Iran to restore the 
international community's trust. 
Next Steps 
-- The United States and its partners believe that the 
troubling questions surrounding Iran's nuclear program 
deserve the full and urgent attention of the 
international community. 
-- We look forward to working with your government to 
promote the active involvement of the IAEA and the 
international community in addressing these unresolved 
-- We will be in touch with you in the days ahead to 
share ideas on how to approach the issue at the IAEA 
Board of Governors meeting that will begin on November 
-- Beyond the Board of Governors meeting, we would also 
like to intensify our consultations on next appropriate 
steps in the international community based on the dual 
track policy (engagement and pressure) to persuade Iran 
to bring its nuclear program into full compliance with 
its international obligations. 
12. (U) We have also compiled the following questions 
and answers to draw from should Posts require them: 
On The TRR Proposal 
-- Why must Iran surrender all of its LEU in one batch, 
and why must it be before the end of the year? 
o       The TRR proposal was developed both to supply 
Iran with the fuel required for the continued 
operation of the reactor, and also as a measure 
to build confidence in Iran's peaceful intentions 
and its seriousness to negotiate with the E3+3. 
o       By agreeing to the transfer of 1200 kilograms of 
LEU (enough to equal the last fuel supply 
agreement Iran signed for the reactor with 
Argentina in the early 1990s), we aimed to lessen 
international concerns that Iran was attempting 
to create a stockpile of uranium to contribute to 
an eventual breakout from the NPT.  This would 
consequently allow more time for negotiations 
with the E3+3 on the broader nuclear file. 
o       The transfer by the end of the year is needed to 
ensure that Iran receives the fuel required for 
the reactor before December 2010, when the 
reactor will run out and be forced to shut down. 
-- What risk does the LEU stored in Iran pose to the 
international community?  Isn't it under full IAEA 
o       Yes, this LEU is currently under IAEA safeguards. 
STATE 00120288  006 OF 008 
o       However, given Iran's long history of IAEA 
safeguards violations and NPT noncompliance, the 
international community cannot trust that Iran 
will not interfere with IAEA monitoring or 
withdraw from IAEA safeguards or the NPT 
o       This project will remove an immediate source of 
concern and establish some confidence in Iran's 
peaceful intent and willingness to comply with 
its obligations. 
-- How can Iran be sure it will ever receive the fuel 
assemblies for the TRR in the current international 
environment, in which many openly seek to diminish 
Iran's nuclear capacity? 
o       We and our E3+3 partners have each made political 
commitments at the highest levels to the 
fulfillment of this project.  Should Iran agree 
to it, Iran will receive the fuel required. 
o       All participants in this project are taking 
risks.  Iran stands in violation of the NPT, its 
IAEA safeguards agreement, and three Chapter VII 
UNSC resolutions.  This project offers Iran an 
opportunity to establish confidence in its 
peaceful intentions, a confidence that has eroded 
due to Iran's continued non-compliance. 
-- Can Iran simply purchase the fuel from an 
international supplier, as some have advocated in Iran? 
o       The UN Security Council resolutions do permit 
Iran to Iran can purchase low-enriched fuel from 
an international supplier if it wishes. 
o       However, we are confident Iran would not find a 
willing supplier given the concerns surrounding 
its nuclear program and its continued defiance of 
the international community. 
o       Outside of the context of the IAEA proposal 
before Iran, we would oppose such a deal. 
-- How would the E3+3 respond if Iran announced it had 
"no choice" but to make its own fuel for the TRR? 
o       Under three UN Security Council resolutions, Iran 
is required to suspend all uranium enrichment- 
related activities.  We have offered Iran a way 
to secure the necessary TRR fuel without further 
violating these obligations.  Enrichment 
activities to produce its own fuel for the TRR 
would be a violation of current UNSCRs. 
o       Further, Iran is not currently able to produce 
the fuel. Reconfiguration of Iranian centrifuges 
to produce the required enrichment level (19.75%) 
would cause serious international concern and 
could permit Iran to produce a stockpile of even 
greater enriched uranium than it has currently 
(Iran's current enrichment level is 3.5%).  This 
would increase the risk of a near-term Iranian 
breakout from the NPT and sprint to producing 
nuclear weapons. 
On Demands to Suspend Enrichment 
-- Iran suspended enrichment once before in response to 
international demands, and received no benefit.  Why 
should Iran trust the international community now? 
o       Iran's suspension of uranium enrichment and other 
activities in the past was intended to support a 
diplomatic process.  Unfortunately, Iran 
terminated that diplomatic process in August 2005 
by abandoning suspension. 
o       However, prior to that point, Iran's temporary 
suspension avoided its being reported to the UN 
Security Council and the sanctions that would 
have likely come along with that report. 
o       The requirement of suspension imposed by the UNSC 
in resolution 1737 is intended to restore that 
diplomatic process and to lead to a final 
resolution of international concerns with Iran's 
nuclear program. 
o       This was codified in UNSCR 1737 when the UNSC 
stated its intention to suspend implementation of 
the measures adopted by the UNSC if Iran returned 
to negotiations through suspension of its nuclear 
and related activities. 
o       Trust is in short supply on both sides.  It is 
for that reason that we have offered Iran several 
opportunities for reciprocal, confidence-building 
steps (e.g., "freeze for freeze" and the TRR 
-- What about recent reports indicating the Iranian 
STATE 00120288  007 OF 008 
enrichment program has not grown. What is the 
significance of this stagnation? 
o       Iran has slowed or scaled back the enrichment 
program several times since the project became 
public in 2002. 
o       There are many possible explanations for the 
stagnation of the Iranian enrichment program, 
including technical issues with the centrifuges 
and general system maintenance. 
o       Regardless of Iran's lack of progress in its 
enrichment program, it continues to enrich and 
stockpile LEU. This activity in violation of 
three United Nations Security Council resolutions 
calling for full suspension of its nuclear and 
enrichment related activities, and increases the 
risk of a near-term Iranian breakout from the NPT 
and sprint to producing nuclear weapons. 
Israel's Nuclear Program 
-- Why is there not equal attention to Israel's nuclear 
status?  Does it not also destabilize the region? 
o       The United States has long supported universal 
adherence to the NPT treaty and  continues to 
believe that all states that have not done so 
should join the Treaty and accept the full-scope 
IAEA safeguards on all of their nuclear 
o       It is extremely difficult, however, to make this 
case to a non-NPT state when its neighbors are in 
violation of their own NPT obligations, and when 
the international community has not demonstrated 
the political will necessary to enforce 
o       Iran's failure to comply with its NPT and IAEA 
obligations bears out these concerns and 
undermines attempts to secure universal adherence 
to the NPT.  It became a party to the treaty and 
proceeded to violate its obligations under it for 
over twenty years, presenting a fundamental 
threat to the entire nonproliferation regime. 
o       Returning regional states to full compliance with 
their NPT obligations would be an important step 
toward NPT adherence by all states in the region. 
An Iranian nuclear weapons capability also serves 
as a destabilizing factor in the region, possibly 
triggering proliferation across the Gulf in 
response to a mounting threat posed by Iran.  Not 
only does this undermine the entire nuclear 
nonproliferation regime, but risks further 
instability in the region. 
Qom Facility 
-- How can you say that the Qom facility was secret, 
when it was Iran that announced its existence and 
invited IAEA inspectors to visit? 
o       Iran was required to declare the existence of 
this facility to the IAEA the moment the decision 
was made to construct it, not several years into 
its construction.  This is a requirement of 
Iran's IAEA Safeguards Agreement (contained in 
Code 3.1 of the Subsidiary Arrangement to Iran's 
Safeguards Agreement). 
o       This code was modified after revelations 
surrounding Iraq's nuclear program were made in 
the early 1990s. 
o       Iran was the last state to agree to the revised 
code, but it did so in March 2003.  Iran 
attempted to revert to the early form of the code 
(which requires notification only 180 days prior 
to the introduction of nuclear to the facility) 
in March 2007.  The IAEA consistently has 
rejected that Iran has the legal ability to make 
such a change. 
o       We also believe that Iran made the decision to 
declare the facility not to conform to its legal 
obligations, but because it had become aware that 
the secrecy of the facility had been compromised. 
-- Iran claims it needs such a hardened facility as 
Fordu because for years both the US and Israel have 
threatened to bomb its nuclear sites. Is it not 
surprising Iran would try to keep its location a secret 
to have an emergency back-up facility? 
O Iran's own failure to meet its obligations for 
transparency and IAEA monitoring of sensitive 
nuclear installations is the cause for the 
STATE 00120288  008 OF 008 
international community's concerns that 
surrounding its nuclear program. 
o       Iran's decision to construct yet another 
clandestine site only deepens these concerns. 
-- Why should Iran discuss its nuclear program with the 
self-appointed P5+1?  Isn't the IAEA the proper place 
for Iran to engage on its nuclear program with the 
international community? 
O  We welcome Iran's engagement with the IAEA.  But 
despite its rhetoric, Iran has not engaged with 
the IAEA.  Iran has refused for several years to 
answer the IAEA's questions (even before the IAEA 
reported Iran to the UNSC for its myriad 
violations of its international obligations). 
o       The E3+3 mechanism evolved as a means to 
negotiate a solution precisely because Iran was 
refusing to engage with the IAEA on the concerns 
regarding Iran's nuclear program.