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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW754 2006-01-25 17:40 2011-08-30 01:44 SECRET Embassy Moscow

DE RUEHMO #0754/01 0251740
O 251740Z JAN 06

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 000754 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/20/2014 
Classified By: Ambassador William J. Burns, for reasons 1.4 (B & D) 
1. (S)  SUMMARY.  Ambassador met January 25 with Russian 
Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov, who provided a 
read-out of his January 24 meeting with Iranian Supreme 
National Security Council Secretary Ali Larijani.  Ivanov 
said "nothing extraordinary" came out of the discussion with 
Larijani, who had put forward no new positions but probed for 
signs of evolution in Russia's position.  Ivanov was credible 
in reporting that -- despite Russia's own opposition to a 
formal referral to the UNSC at this point -- he had made 
clear to Larijani that Russia cannot prevent such an IAEA 
referral unless Tehran restores its moratorium and answers 
the IAEA's questions.  END SUMMARY. 
2. (S)  Ivanov said Larijani's task in Moscow appeared to be 
to make sure Tehran was clear on what's Russia's position was 
on the principal nuclear-related issues that will affect 
decisions at the IAEA Board of Governors (BOG) meeting next 
week.  Larijani had put forward no new ideas, and Ivanov said 
that "frankly, nothing extraordinary was said or happened" in 
the Russian-Iranian talks. 
Moratorium on Enrichment Activities 
3. (S)  Larijani had told Ivanov that Iran's point of 
departure for discussions of its moratorium was that the 2003 
Paris agreements with the EU-3 had extended to production 
activities, but not to research and development.  Their 
recent cutting of IAEA seals at Natanz, therefore, had not 
violated their commitments.  Moreover, after cutting the 
seals, they had undertaken no further activity.  The move by 
the EU-3 and others to have the BOG report Iran to the UNSC 
was not a result of Iran's actions, but rather represented a 
"political decision."  Larijani asked what Russia's position 
4. (S)  Ivanov said he had told Larijani that Iran's cutting 
of seals was not consistent with Russia's understanding of 
the Paris agreement commitment that, during the time when 
Iran/EU-3 negotiations were ongoing, there would be no 
enrichment activities, which Russia understood included 
research and development activities on enrichment.  Since 
Iran had no enrichment production activities to suspend at 
the time of the Paris agreement, that could not have been the 
exclusive subject of the moratorium.  Russia believed Iran 
must reinstate the moratorium as an element of the 
negotiation process. 
5. (S)  Ivanov said he had made clear that, in Moscow's view, 
since the IAEA had sealed the centrifuges pursuant to the 
Paris agreement, breaking the seals broke the moratorium. 
"For us it's obvious."  Larijani had said Ivanov and Russia 
were tougher on that issue than even UK Foreign Secretary 
Jack Straw, who had said (according to Larijani) that the 
centrifuges did not need to be re-sealed, if Iran simply 
refrained from introducing gas into them.  Ivanov had 
responded that the EU-3 could define what their position was, 
but he had stated Russia's position.  It was ultimately up to 
the IAEA -- not Ivanov or Straw or anyone else -- to 
determine whether the moratorium was in effect or not.  If 
the IAEA concluded that the moratorium had been restored, 
Russia could take a fresh look at the other issues.  The 
Ambassador noted that he had no confirmation that Foreign 
Secretary Straw had said that the centrifuges at Natanz did 
not need to be re-sealed; his public statements, however, had 
made clear his support for Russia's joint enrichment 
Iran's Right to Undertake R&D 
6. (S)  As a second theme, Larijani had raised its right 
under the NPT to perform enrichment R&D for peaceful 
purposes.  Ivanov said he had acknowledged that Iran had such 
a right in principle, but Russia saw no practical need or 
urgency or economic justification for Iran to act on that 
right at present.  It had an assured supply of nuclear fuel 
from Russia for its only reactor at Bushehr, so there was no 
reason why it needed to pursue enrichment immediately. 
Moreover, Iran had through its own actions undermined 
international confidence in its nuclear program, and before 
undertaking sensitive operations it needed first to restore 
the confidence of the IAEA and the international community in 
the nature of its program.  The way to that, Ivanov had said, 
was for Iran to restore its moratorium and return to the 
negotiations with the EU-3, 
The Russian Initiative 
MOSCOW 00000754  002 OF 003 
7. (S)  Larijani had raised several questions about Russia's 
proposal for a joint Russian-Iranian enrichment program in 
Russia.  First, he had inquired whether the program could be 
carried out in Iran, and Ivanov had made clear that the 
program could be carried out only in Russia.  Larijani had 
asked to what extent the program c
ould be "joint" in the 
technical aspects of fuel production.  Ivanov had responded 
that management of the overall program would be joint, but 
only Russian specialists would have access to the technical 
side of the program.  Russian legislation would not allow 
foreign access to the technical side.  Larijani had 
complained that such an arrangement would deprive Iran of its 
NPT right to nuclear technology transfer for peaceful 
purposes.  Ivanov had explained that Russia's conception was 
not intended to be eternal, but rather of temporary, although 
undefined, duration -- for the period until Iran had been 
able to reestablish its credibility with the IAEA and the 
international community.  How long that might take was not 
clear, but for its duration Iran would have a guaranteed 
supply of nuclear fuel.  That should satisfy its needs. 
8. (S)  Larijani asked whether the joint enterprise could 
operate for several years in Russia while simultaneously Iran 
pursued enrichment work in Iran.  Ivanov had said that was 
not consistent with Russia's proposal, which had as a 
necessary element a moratorium on enrichment work in Iran. 
Larijani said Iran would continue to study the Russian 
proposal, and an Iranian team would come in mid-February for 
further talks.  Ivanov said he understood that the Iranian 
team would not include Larijani, but would include some of 
his deputies and other Iranian specialists.  He added that 
Larijani had been accompanied on this visit by two of 
assistants and at least one representative of the Iranian 
Atomic Energy Organization. 
9. (S)  Ivanov said he had explained to Larijani Russia's 
unhappiness with how Iran had dealt with the joint enrichment 
initiative, telling the EU-3 at one point that Russia had 
made no proposal.  Moscow had then made public statements 
making clearing that it was not playing games with Iran or 
the EU-3. 
10. (S)  Asked by the Ambassador whether there had been any 
discussion of possible Chinese participation in a joint 
Russian-Iranian joint enrichment venture, Ivanov said that 
issue had not been raised by either side.  From Russia's 
standpoint, he said, that was a technical problem that it 
would make no sense to discuss when the issues of principle 
concerning the program had not been resolved.  He noted that 
members of the Iranian delegation had met later with Rosatom 
Director Kiriyenko, but Larijani had not participated in that 
Referral to the UNSC 
11. (S)  Ivanov said Iran was intensively consulting now with 
a number of countries to determine their positions.  He 
thought Tehran was beginning to understand that a report by 
the BOG to the Security Council was a real possibility, and 
it was eager to avoid such an action.  Larijani had asked how 
Russia would vote in the IAEA on a report to the UNSC. 
Ivanov had told him that Russia had no veto at the IAEA and 
could not prevent a referral even by voting against it. 
There were enough votes at the BOG in favor of a report for a 
resolution to that effect to be passed.  Iran should have no 
illusions about the situation it was in, and should expect no 
"tricks" from Russia or China to prevent a referral.  If it 
wanted to avoid that outcome, it would need to reinstate its 
moratorium and resume negotiations with the EU-3.  Larijani 
had "just listened" to that advice and made no comment. 
12, (S)  Larijani had laid out Iran's position, however, that 
if the nuclear issue were referred to the UNSC, it would be 
bound by Iranian legislation to curtail its cooperation with 
the IAEA and to pursue enrichment on an industrial scale. 
Ivanov said he had responded that if Iran took such steps, 
neither Russia nor other countries would be able to continue 
cooperating with it.  Iran would in effect be harming its own 
interests.  The Ambassador asked whether Larijani had 
understood that point.  Ivanov shrugged his shoulders and 
responded, "I said it clearly." 
13. (S)  Ivanov made clear to the Ambassador that Russia 
itself continued to believe that a referral to the UNSC at 
this point would convert the issue from a "technical" into a 
"political" one.  The IAEA would in essence be cut out of 
further action, and the Security Council would be tied up 
MOSCOW 00000754  003 OF 003 
trying to decide whether to impose sanctions.  He reiterated, 
however, that he had made clear to Larijani that Russia was 
not in a position to prevent a referral. 
Russia's Conclusions 
14. (S)  Ivanov said he had stressed to Larijani that Iran's 
own interests would be served by fully restoring the 
moratorium on enrichment and satisfying the IAEA that it has 
full answers to all its questions.  He and Larijani had 
agreed that Russia and Iran would remain in contact, 
including at the level of specialists.  If Iran created the 
right conditions by taking the necessary steps, Russia would 
be ready to try for a solution short of UNSC referral. 
Press Event 
15. (U)  Ivanov noted that he had not briefed the press on 
his meeting with Larijani, who did hold a press conference 
after their meeting.  The Russian Security Council had put 
out, however, a statement on the talks in which it was 
indicated that both sides had expressed the desire to have 
the Iranian nuclear issue resolved by diplomatic means 
"within the framework of the IAEA." 
16. (S)  It indeed appears that Larijani was on a 
reconnaissance mission, sounding out the Russians for any 
evolution in their position.  Ivanov was credible in 
reporting that -- despite Russia's own opposition to a formal 
referral to the UNSC at this point -- he made clear to 
Larijani that Russia cannot prevent such a IAEA referral 
unless Tehran restores its moratorium and answers all the 
IAEA's questions. 


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