WikiLeaks cable: GNZ agrees with USG points on Iran and Syria

Photo / Mark Mitchell
Photo / Mark Mitchell

March 3, 2009
GNZ agrees with USG points on Iran and Syria; will issue strong statements

date:2009-03-02T02:50:00
source:Embassy Wellington
origin:09WELLINGTON60
destination:VZCZCXYZ0000 OO RUEHWEB DE RUEHWL #0060 0610250 ZNY SSSSS
ZZH O 020250Z MAR 09 FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC
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classification:SECRET
reference:09STATE16285
?S E C R E T WELLINGTON 000060

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/ANP; ISN FOR RICHARD NEPHEW, MATT GOLDSTEIN
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/02/2025
TAGS: PA...
?S E C R E T WELLINGTON 000060

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/ANP; ISN FOR RICHARD NEPHEW, MATT GOLDSTEIN
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/02/2025
TAGS: PARM, KNNP, IAEA, MNUC, IR, SYR, NZ
SUBJECT: GNZ AGREES WITH USG POINTS ON IRAN AND SYRIA; WILL ISSUE STRONG STATEMENTS
REF: STATE 16285

Classified By: Acting DCM Margaret B. McKean; Reason 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (S) On March 2, Acting DCM met with Jillian Dempster, Deputy Director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade International Security and Disarmament Division to discuss reftel points. Dempster agreed with the USG views, noting that MFAT had forwarded draft statements on both Iran and Syria to Cabinet Ministers last week. The Government of New Zealand's position on both Iran and Syria under the new National-led government of PM John Key is likely to remain similar to that of former Labour PM Helen Clark. Dempster observed that in both the cases of Iran and Syria, the Director General's reports indicate that "the situation has not been fixed." Iran has not complied with IAEA requests for comprehensive access, has not provided design information, and has built roofs over its installations thereby limiting satellite information that provided some level of data. On Syria, the GNZ believes that the issues surrounding the discovery of uranium in the soil samples from the destroyed alleged reactor site "are concerning" and that the GNZ does not deem as fully credible the GOS explanation that the uranium derives from Israeli missiles.

2. (S) Dempster added that New Zealand would be sending a new Ambassador to Tehran shortly -- Brian Sanders who is currently working in MFAT's Asia Division on Korea and Japan will be replacing Hamish McMaster, who will return to Wellington. The MFAT official added that Sanders has previous Middle East experience, having served in Riyadh.
She also said that the Iranian Embassy has been conspicuously silent in the lead up to the March Board of Governors meeting. Usually, the Iranian government conducts a public diplomacy campaign and demarches the GNZ; this year, there have been no meeting requests with MFAT, said Dempster.

3. (S) On issuing the Syrian report to the public, Dempster reported that some NAM members of the Board do not want either the Iran or Syria reports to be made public, and will try to block BOG release of the reports. She said that the GNZ would stay in touch with like-minded governments in Vienna and "see what the traffic will bear."

KEEGAN

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