07MOSCOW105, RUSSIA REACTS TO IRAQ STRATEGY, IRANIAN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW105 2007-01-12 15:27 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO7016
OO RUEHDBU RUEHROV
DE RUEHMO #0105/01 0121527
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 121527Z JAN 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6347
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISLAMIC COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 000105 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/12/2017 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER MARR IZ IR
SUBJECT: RUSSIA REACTS TO IRAQ STRATEGY, IRANIAN 
"CONSULATE" RAID 
 
REF: A. STATE 1686 
     B. MOSCOW 0068 
 
Classified By: Political M/C Alice G. Wells.  Reasons:  1.4(B/D). 
 
1.  (C)  Summary: The GOR publicly reacted to the President's 
policy address by repeating the need for "broad and real" 
dialogue among Iraqi groups and neighboring countries, 
including Iran and Syria, and indicating concern over the 
perceived reliance on a military solution.  The MFA told us 
it remained committed to broadening engagement with the 
Maliki government, but reiterated dismay over the 
deteriorating security situation and January 10 attack on the 
Russian Embassy in Baghdad.  With a mid-level Iranian MFA 
official in Moscow for consultations, the MFA strongly 
condemned the reported raid on an Iranian "consulate" in 
Irbil, terming it "absolutely unacceptable" and 
counterproductive to the goal of promoting dialogue to 
resolve the violence.  Following the imposition of UNSC 
sanctions, the GOR is not anxious to provoke Iran, but 
responding to MFA requests for additional information on the 
nature of the raid and Iran's destabilizing activities in 
Iraq may help to temper GOR statements. 
 
Reaction to Iraq Strategy 
------------------------- 
 
2.  (SBU)  The Charge reviewed the President's strategy 
toward Iraq in a January 11 meeting called by Deputy Foreign 
Minister Aleksandr Saltanov to express concern over the 
January 10 terrorist attack on the Russian Embassy in Baghdad 
(ref b).  On January 12, the MFA issued a formal reaction, 
noting the GOR's serious review of the new U.S. strategy, its 
relevance to Russian interests, and the harmful effect of 
Iraq's instability on the region.  The GOR statement focused 
on the augmentation of U.S. troops and drew the conclusion 
that the "calculation remains the same -- to achieve a 
resolution of the Iraq crisis through force" and "not 
accepting the proposal to establish a dialogue among the 
major Iraqi groups, with the support of all neighboring 
countries, including Syria and Iran."  The statement 
reiterated the GOR call for a "broad and real" dialogue among 
all leading ethnic and confessional groups and political 
forces, in order to achieve a national consensus. 
 
3.  (C)  MFA Director for Middle Eastern Affairs Sergey 
Vershinin amplified on the GOR statement, reiterating the 
GOR's commitment to work with the Maliki government and to 
seek ways to expand diplomatic and commercial ties, including 
through the establishment of a joint trade commission.  The 
stumbling block remained security, and Vershinin underscored 
the GOR's upset over the attack on the Russian Embassy, 
noting that Russian Ambassador Ushakov was under instruction 
to reiterate this message in Washington.  Vershinin said the 
GOR was pessimistic that a troop augmentation would be a 
catalyst for the political dialogue that the GOR believed was 
essential to a lasting peace.  He acknowledged the elements 
of the plan focused on stabilizing the economy and promoting 
national reconciliation, but repeated concerns that the 
increase in troops would intensify the conflict, further 
complicating resolution of sectarian disputes. 
 
Condemnation of Raid on Iranian "consulate" 
------------------------------------------- 
 
4.  (U)  In a separate January 12 announcement, the GOR 
condemned the reported raid on an Iranian "consulate" in 
Irbil. Noting that there should be "indisputable proof" 
presented of alleged Iranian terrorism, the statement termed 
the raid "absolutely unacceptable," a grievous violation of 
the Vienna Convention, inconsistent with American statements 
of support for Iraqi sovereignty (given GOI obligations to 
protect the inviolability of diplomatic missions on its 
territory), and an abuse of the mandate given to the MNF by 
the United Nations.  The statement argued that the raid 
showed little regard for the need to establish a dialogue 
among all interested parties, in order to help Iraq emerge 
from its crisis, and concluded with a call for the resolution 
of the conflict on the basis of international law. 
 
5.  (SBU)  In a meeting with the Charge, MFA North America 
Department Director Igor Neverov sought clarification of the 
status of the Iranian facility.  Separately, Vershinin noted 
that he discussed the raid with his visiting Iranian 
counterpart, Ali Ashgar Mommadi Sijani, the Director General 
for Middle Eastern and North African Affairs, who was in 
Moscow for a regular series of consultations, but provided no 
details of their conversation.  We emphasized Iran's 
destabilizing behavior in Iraq.  Vershinin responded that the 
GOR had yet to see the proof. 
 
MOSCOW 00000105  002 OF 002 
 
 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
6.  (C)  The GOR has consistently advocated that all Iraq's 
neighbors be brought into the process of supporting Iraq, 
including Iran and Syria.  In the wake of vot
ing to impose 
UNSC sanctions on Iran, Russia will not be anxious to take 
steps that could further provoke the Iranian regime, and its 
harsh condemnation of the Irbil raid can be read in this 
light.  However, given DFM Saltanov's earlier call for 
greater "transparency" in our CT relationship and outstanding 
GOR requests within the CTWG for evidence of Iranian support 
for terrorism, any additional information that we can provide 
on Iranian activity in Iraq may help temper Russian public 
statements. 
RUSSELL

Wikileaks

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