06MOSCOW10439, RUSSIAN SECURITY COUNCIL SECRETARY ON IRAN, FROZEN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW10439 2006-09-19 12:51 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO7388
OO RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #0439/01 2621251
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 191251Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2516
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 05 MOSCOW 010439 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/19/2016 
TAGS: PREL PGOV ETTC PARM IR RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIAN SECURITY COUNCIL SECRETARY ON IRAN, FROZEN 
CONFLICTS, NATO, UKRAINE, BOEING, SUKHOI SANCTIONS 
 
REF: MOSCOW 10382 
 
Classified By: Ambassador William J. Burns: 1.4 (b, d). 
 
1.  (C)  Summary: In a September 18 meeting, Russian Security 
Council Secretary Ivanov briefed on his September meetings in 
Spain with Iranian Security Council Secretary Larijani, UNSYG 
Annan, and former President Gonzales; raised concerns over 
mixed messages to Iran; and reiterated Russia's willingness 
to move to economic sanctions and speak with one voice with 
the EU 3.  Ivanov underscored the reasons, however, why the 
GOR would not support a move to military action.  He analyzed 
divisions within Iran and argued the absence of a ME peace 
process played into the hands of Iranian radicals.  Ivanov 
expressed disappointment with Georgian negotiating tactics 
and concern over the prospect of military escalation and NATO 
Intensified Dialogue.  Ivanov ridiculed a GOR-Transnistria 
union and urged Moldova to follow on the Transnistrian 
referendum by negotiating with "President" Smirnov.  Ivanov 
welcomed the decline in polemics with Ukraine.  On U.S. 
relations, he termed the Sukhoi/Rosoboron sanctions 
"punishment" for GOR arms sales to Venezuela and Syria, and 
said that U.S. allegations were without basis.  Ivanov 
repudiated his Deputy's interjection that a Boeing commercial 
aircraft sale would be tied to resolution of the sanctions. 
He noted his intent to call NSA Hadley to discuss Iran and 
other bilateral issues.  End Summary 
 
2.  (C)  In an hour-plus meeting on September 18, Russian 
Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov briefed the Ambassador 
on his holiday diplomacy in Madrid, where he had an informal 
session with Iranian Security Council Secretary Larijani and 
UNSYG Annan, a separate two-hour discussion with former 
Spanish President Gonzales, in addition to other 
(unspecified) consultations with Iranians and Iranian 
watchers.  Ivanov's notetaker was newly appointed Security 
Council Deputy Secretary Vladimir Pavlovich Nazarov, who 
comes to the Security Council via a long tenure in the 
security services. 
 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 
Iran:  Sanctions, strategy and speaking with one voice 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 
 
3.  (C)  Ivanov opened the meeting by noting his concern over 
the competing and not always coordinated voices reaching the 
Iranian government.  He was puzzled by Gonzales' decision to 
travel to Iran on a "personal" initiative, which did not even 
reflect a policy consensus of the Spanish government.  It was 
critical, he emphasized, that everyone coordinate through EU 
High Representative Solana; this was a key factor in Ivanov's 
decision to abstain from meeting Larijani one-on-one, rather 
than with UNSYG Annan.  The Italians and Spanish were 
searching for a role, with the Japanese also tempted. 
Ivanov's message to Gonzales was that this was a "dangerous 
and delicate game" that did not require outside players, but 
rather subtlety and a consistent message.  Citing the 
confusion of the Spanish Ambassador (in Madrid for Larijani's 
meeting) over the international community's approach to the 
suspension of uranium enrichment activity, Ivanov warned that 
the Iranians would profit from discrepancies within the 
international community. 
 
4.  (C)  One factor contributing to Larijani's wavering in 
the negotiations, Ivanov argued, was his lack of 
understanding over who Solana represented and the extent of 
his mandate.  A second factor was internal differences within 
the Iranian government, which Solana told Ivanov was the 
reason behind the postponement of the September 14 meeting. 
The virtue of drawing out the dialogue with the Iranians, 
Ivanov maintained, was that it led to nuances within the 
ruling circles in Iran and a better understanding of the 
international community's position.  Larijani understood 
better than those he represented what were the possible 
consequences of Iranian inaction; prolonged dialogue helped 
Larijani bring others around within the government, while 
simultaneously revealing publicly the differences between 
competing actors.  Ivanov's assessment was that Larijani was 
not resisting a solution: "he is ready."  The sequencing and 
setting were critical; "we have to help" the Iranians square 
our demand for a halt to enrichment activity beforehand with 
their offer to suspend during the negotiations.  Larijani was 
a good interlocutor, Ivanov added, since he enjoyed high 
political standing at home and had direct connections to the 
Supreme Leader. 
 
5.  (C)  Ivanov agreed with the Ambassador that it was Iran's 
turn to be responsive, and noted Solana's guarded telephone 
assessment that some forward movement had been achieved. 
Ivanov repeated that it would be difficult for Iran to change 
its position, having staked out such an uncompromising public 
 
MOSCOW 00010439  002 OF 005 
 
 
line.  In the event there was movement, Ivanov floated the &#x
000A;possibility of a UNSYG-chaired informal session on the 
margins of UNGA modeled on the six-plus-two process for 
Afghanistan, which could provide a useful beginning to 
U.S.-Iranian engagement.  The Ambassador reiterated that a 
suspension of enrichment remained a necessary precondition 
for moving to direct engagement, formal or informal, with the 
Iranians.  He also repeated that, in the absence of an 
Iranian decision to suspend, it was essential to move toward 
a sanctions resolution in New York, as Russia had earlier 
agreed. 
 
6.  (C)  Ivanov underscored that the GOR would not move 
toward support for military action against Iran, but remained 
committed to the negotiating process, the prospect of 
economic sanctions, and the necessity of speaking with one 
voice.  He repeated GOR concerns that preparation for 
sanctions developed its own logic and rhythm and incited the 
worst in the Iranian government, which had received 
conflicting signals from ad hoc actors and had drawn its own 
conclusions about U.S. engagement in Afghanistan and Iraq. 
Sanctions were the easiest approach, Ivanov insisted, but 
lacked an endgame, and seemed certain to drive Iran away from 
the negotiating table.  While Ivanov planned to call Larijani 
soon to underscore EU 3 disappointment with the Iranian 
response and to underscore that Russia is prepared to move to 
sanctions, the GOR would approach imposing sanctions 
carefully.  This was not, he insisted, a function of Russian 
economic interests.  Italy, Japan, and Europe writ large 
would suffer more from economic sanctions than Russia, with 
Ivanov describing any losses from Bushehr as "minimal." 
Russia's policy was not driven primarily by economic 
concerns, but by pragmatic concerns over the destabilizing 
effect of sanctions, perhaps leading to military action 
against Iran, on Russian interests in the Caucasus, Middle 
East, and North Korea.  Before Russia advanced to the next 
stage, it needed to know the final destination.  In this 
context, Ivanov drew attention to Israeli vulnerability to a 
missile attack, lacking even basic ABM defenses against an 
Iranian reprisal. 
 
7.  (C)  Ivanov noted differences between GOR and U.S. 
assessments over the time frame within which Iran could 
acquire nuclear weapons, underscoring the difficulties that 
Iran had faced with the cascade technology.  He accepted the 
Ambassador's point that it was difficult to ascertain whether 
technical difficulties, Iranian disinformation or a political 
decision to "go slow" were at play, but reasserted that Iran 
was not going to have nuclear weapons "tomorrow." 
 
8.  (C)  Ivanov made a final pitch for sustained U.S. 
engagement, acknowledging that it was both difficult and 
frustrating, but stating that the process had not played 
itself out.  Characterizing the last UNSC resolution as 
"transitional," Ivanov said a subsequent resolution could 
remove the question of Iran from the IAEA entirely.  The 
Ambassador stressed that it was incumbent on the Iranians to 
do something on suspension, in order to open the door to 
further talks, and the U.S. looked to Russia for assistance 
in reaffirming that message.  Ivanov accepted the 
Ambassador's point that success with Iran was important to 
U.S.-Russian relations and agreed that the U.S. had 
demonstrated significant restraint in responding to Iranian 
statements and acts.  Ivanov reiterated that "on principle, 
there is no disagreement; there are differences of prognosis 
and timing."  Russia will continue with the U.S. "until it 
can't."  What was important was that when Larijani's aide 
Hossein-i Tosh came to Moscow he heard a coordinated message: 
Russia was speaking with one voice to Iran, and reinforcing 
to Larijani that Solana was the voice of the EU 3. 
 
--------------------------------------------- - 
Middle East: peace process as antidote to Iran 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
9.  (C)  Ivanov warned that Larijani's negotiating posture 
reflected the general consensus within Iran that the U.S. and 
Israel were weakened by the wars in Iraq and Lebanon.  This 
played into the hands of the extremists, particularly in the 
absence of any successful peace process in the Middle East. 
Noting FM Lavrov's visit to the Middle East (reftel), Ivanov 
underscored the GOR's conclusion that PM Olmert needed a 
negotiating process to offset the damage inflicted upon him 
domestically by the war in Lebanon.  Olmert had told Lavrov 
that he was serious about negotiations with the Palestinians, 
but only after the Israeli soldier was returned.  The 
Ambassador agreed that Lebanon appeared to foreclose, at 
least for now, the option of unilateral withdrawal to Olmert, 
but noted the constraints on Abbas dictated by disarray 
within Palestinian circles.  Ivanov argued that the Arab 
League-driven ministerial at UNGA could politically 
 
MOSCOW 00010439  003 OF 005 
 
 
jump-start serious discussions, particularly given disquiet 
within the Arab world over the stalemate, at a time of 
Iranian ascendancy. 
 
----------------------------- 
Georgia: Situation Unsettling 
----------------------------- 
 
10.  (C)  After a deep breath and long pause, Ivanov said he 
was offended by Georgian government behavior and saw little 
reason to be optimistic about prospects for success in the 
bilateral relationship or over South Ossetia and Abkhazia. 
To the contrary, the GOR feared the possibility of an 
escalation.  Ivanov conceded that Russia had made its share 
of mistakes, and had its faction of hot heads who exacerbated 
relations.  While Ivanov counseled pragmatism and 
face-to-face negotiations, he expressed frustration over 
Saakashvili's quest for any diplomatic route that avoided 
Russia.  Ivanov judged inclusion of the frozen conflicts on 
the UNGA agenda by a 16-15 vote a mistake that reflected GUAM 
naivet over the significance of internationalizing an 
internal dispute.  Russia sat at the negotiating table with 
Georgia and tried to proceed methodically, but Georgia was 
always looking over its shoulder for someone else with whom 
to talk.  GOG assertions that they had no negotiating 
partners were contradicted by repeated offers from the 
parties to engage.  Georgia's search for alternate 
negotiating partners took it away from the realities of the 
negotiating table. 
 
11.  (C)  Ivanov questioned the value of introducing 
"Congolese or Bangladeshi troops" into the fray as 
international peackeepers in the separatist regions. 
"Georgia cannot impose a final status, it must negotiate one 
with the parties involved."  The GOR increasingly was 
convinced that the GOG was preparing for war, maybe as a 
scare tactic, but "maybe because they have become accustomed 
to this option."  Such an action, he warned, would not be 
"profitable" -- "Georgia cannot win militarily."  Ivanov 
predicted further complications introduced by the November 12 
referendum in South Ossetia, which the Russians could not 
stop.  It
would take place at a "difficult moment," since the 
JCC presently was stalled.  There needed to be a long-term 
solution built on the basis of trust. 
 
12.  (C)  Ivanov complained that all positive Russian steps 
were pocketed, whether on Ajaria, the closure of Russian 
bases, the facilitation of those refugees who wanted to 
return, the work on reopening the railroad from Sochi to 
Tbilisi, and assistance on energy (sic).  This track record 
was ignored.  What Russia was not prepared to do was to 
"smother" Abkhazia or South Ossetia: these were Georgian 
problems, Georgian issues.  However, if Georgia started a 
military action, "it would be hard to stop the people from 
our territory" from becoming involved in the fighting.  The 
atmosphere, Ivanov repeated, was unsettling and any incident, 
even trivial, could lead to an outbreak of hostilities. 
"That's why we need the JCC."  Ivanov said that no matter how 
difficult, Georgia would need to negotiate with the breakaway 
provinces. 
 
13.  (C) The Ambassador responded that an outbreak of 
hostilities would be a disaster for all parties concerned and 
urged Russia to intervene with its South Ossetian 
interlocutors to underscore the danger of firing upon 
Georgian helicopters, noting that a U.S. Senate delegation 
had been on a similar helicopter on the same basic flight 
path a week before the latest firing incident.  Ivanov agreed 
that these actions were unacceptable, and that Russia had a 
responsibility to urge the South Ossetians to use their heads. 
 
---------------- 
Georgia: NATO ID 
---------------- 
 
14.  (C)  Ivanov stated that he did not understand the 
attraction of NATO for Georgia, since it would complicate 
matters and compound the lack of trust.  At the same time, 
Ivanov warned mildly, a step toward NATO, such as Intensified 
Dialogue, would make Russia's relations with NATO more 
difficult.  Accepting Georgia was purely political, not 
strategic in nature, he maintained, and -- unlike Central 
Europe -- could hardly be justified by geography.  While NATO 
announced that it would not establish bases in Georgia, the 
fact of the NATO relationship would reduce Russia's abilities 
in the region.  The Caucasus factored squarely in the Kremlin 
calculations over security, given its intimate connection to 
stability in the North Caucasus and interconnections to the 
Middle East. 
 
15.  (C)  Just as a Socialist-led Spain joined NATO in order 
 
MOSCOW 00010439  004 OF 005 
 
 
to preclude a return to Francoism, Georgia's embrace of NATO 
was designed to provide a military shield against Russia. 
Was it really in NATO's interest to get involved, Ivanov 
asked, questioning the stability and reliability of the 
Georgian regime.  By bringing NATO and Russia into conflict, 
the ability of the international community to fight terrorism 
would be negatively affected.  While 9/11 precipitated 
unparalleled cooperation, Iraq and other events had eroded 
this relationship.  Putting Georgia on a membership track in 
NATO would hasten this process.  The Ambassador responded 
that the Alliance would move deliberately and transparently: 
it sought to deepen relations with both Georgia and Russia, 
on their own terms. 
 
------------------------------------- 
Transnistria Referendum is a reminder 
------------------------------------- 
 
16.  (C) Whether or not the referendum in Transnistria was 
legal, Ivanov noted, "it exists."  While Russia would not 
recognize the referendum, he insisted that it was a reminder 
to Moldova that it needed to negotiate with someone, even 
Smirnov.  Ivanov ridiculed the notion of Transnistria being 
absorbed into Russia.  Maybe it could become a part of 
Ukraine, he observed, but the specter of a 
Russia-Transnistria union was akin to Yugoslavia grafting on 
to Belarus.  The referendum was effective in measuring the 
mood of the population and demonstrating that the breakaway 
enclave did not share the political view of Chisinau.  Ivanov 
urged Moldova to use the referendum to inform its own 
negotiating position with the Transnistrian leadership, and 
not just the OSCE, EU, UN, or U.S.  Ivanov complained that 
President Voronov brought nothing new to his meeting with 
Putin.  "He came, talked, left, but what comes next?," Ivanov 
posed.  If the Kozak plan was unacceptable, the GOM needed to 
put forward other proposals.  In contrast to South Ossetia, 
where plans were a dime a dozen, there was a dearth of 
initiatives in Chisinau and Tiraspol.  Ivanov welcomed the 
subsiding of tensions over the customs union. 
 
-------------------------------- 
Ukraine: Move away from polemics 
-------------------------------- 
 
17.  (C)  Ivanov noted that the GOR is ready to meet at a 
high level with Ukraine, and is waiting for the 
Intergovernmental Commissions to commence, chaired by 
Presidents Putin and Yushchenko.  The Security Council was to 
serve as the Secretariat, but Ivanov was unclear with whom he 
would be working on the Ukrainian side.  There would be an 
array of working groups, including on the Black Sea fleet, 
with PM Fradkov chairing economic cooperation.   Both 
governments were avoiding sharp polemics, and attempting to 
create a better atmosphere for discussions.  Yanukovich, he 
predicted, would be able to accomplish a lot after a six 
month hiatus of governing in Kiev.  On gas, the dialogue 
continued, but the reality of new Turkmen gas deal meant that 
Ukraine would confront a price hike. 
 
--------------------------------------------- -------------- 
Boeing/Sukhoi Sanctions: U.S. punishment for GOR arms sales 
--------------------------------------------- -------------- 
 
18.  (C)  Ivanov raised Boeing, noting the signing of the 
titanium deal, and asking the Ambassador for an update on the 
commercial aircraft negotiations.  The Ambassador noted that 
Boeing would likely soon be compelled by the press of other 
prospective buyers to sell the 787's that it had reserved for 
Russia, pushing back a possible delivery date from 2010 to 
2012.  He urged the GOR to keep the door open.  In a 
whispered aside, NSC Deputy Nazarov linked the Boeing sale to 
the sanctions imposed on Sukhoi and Rosoboron export, with 
Ivanov responding that he was not aware of any direct linkage 
between the commercial aircraft deal and the resolution of 
the sanctions. 
 
19.  (C)  The Ambassador briefed Ivanov on his meeting with 
Sukhoi, reiterating that the U.S. was prepared to review the 
sanctions if there were new GOR information and assurances, 
and noting that a Sukhoi executive had accompanied Deputy FM 
Kislyak to his meeting with U/S Joseph.  Nazarov interjected 
that the GOR believed the U.S. should review the case 
unilaterally; it was inappropriate for Sukhoi to provide the 
USG with assurances, which was the preserve of the MFA. 
 
20.  (C)  Ivanov noted "in all frankness," that the GOR 
assessment was that sanctions were imposed as retribution for 
Russian sales to Venezuela and Syria, as a "political signal 
and warning" to Sukhoi over its contracts with Thailand, 
Malaysia, and Indonesia.  The GOR had carefully reviewed the 
U.S. non-paper and the actions of Rosoboron and Sukhoi. 
 
MOSCOW 00010439  005 OF 005 
 
 
There was nothing to the U.S. allegations.  In the past, 
there were instances of leakage to the Iran, of abuse of 
Russian export laws; however, that was not the case in this 
instance. Rosoboron had no dealings with Iran: it was a 
government organ and the GOR knew with precision what was the 
scope of its activities.  "We know what it did and did not do 
and there were no violations," Ivanov repeated.  The result, 
he said, was a poisoning of the atmosphere: U.S. actions were 
not partner-like and had a bearing on other aspects of the 
U.S.-Russia strategic relationship.  It was difficult for 
Russia to build a relationship with the United States and to 
adopt a long-term perspective to strategic cooperation when, 
at any moment, the U.S. could withdraw and impose sanctions. 
 
 
21.  (C)  The Ambassador denied any political calculation to 
the sanctions and reaffirmed that the U.S. wanted good 
relations with Sukhoi.  The U.S. was prepared to review any 
new GOR information and assurances.  Navarov characterized 
the exchange between Deputy FM Kislyak and U/S Joseph as 
unproductive: the U.S. expected a written GOR submission, the 
GOR believed the onus was on the U.S. to correct the mistaken 
application of sanctions. 
 
22.  (C)  Ivanov noted that he planned to call NSA Hadley 
later this week to touch bases on Iran and discuss the status 
of relations more broadly. 
BURNS

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