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Viewing cable 07PARIS159, FRANCE SEEKS EU COVER ON IRAN CIVIL SOCIETY

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07PARIS159 2007-01-16 15:03 2010-11-29 12:12 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Paris
VZCZCXYZ0009
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHFR #0159 0161533
ZNY CCCCC ZZH(CCY AD6CB6C9 WSC6493 634)
O 161533Z JAN 07
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4210
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1091
C O N F I D E N T I A L PARIS 000159 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (PRIMARY TAG) 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/16/2017 
TAGS: KDEM LE PGOV PREL FR IR
SUBJECT: FRANCE SEEKS EU COVER ON IRAN CIVIL SOCIETY 
 
REF: STATE 2659 
 
Classified By: Political Minister-Counselor Josiah Rosenblatt, 
reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1. (C) Poloff delivered reftel demarche on January 16 to MFA 
Iran Desk Officer Arnaud Pescheux, who indicated that France 
had not budgeted any funds for democracy promotion in Iran. 
"If we were to do something, it would undoubtedly be via 
Brussels," Pescheux said.  He noted that France "anticipated 
supporting" a proposal by Javier Solana for the EU to expand 
its own Farsi broadcasting capabilities, although he said 
that details of that proposal have yet to be worked out. 
While the MFA does not currently partner with any French NGOs 
operating in Iran, in the past a few NGOs (e.g., Reporters 
Without Borders) had brought members of Iranian civil society 
to France to participate in programs. 
 
French Envoy to Tehran 
---------------------- 
 
2. (C) Citing a press report in the January 16 edition of Le 
Monde, Poloff asked whether it was true that France planned 
to send a presidential envoy to Tehran in the near future. 
Choosing his words with care, Pescheux said that the Le Monde 
report was "not false" but stressed that a final decision had 
not yet been taken.  Pescheux said that the envoy would not 
engage on the nuclear file but would instead discuss regional 
issues and, in particular, would seek to "find a solution on 
Lebanon." 
 
3. (C) Poloff said he was shocked that France, which had 
steadfastly rejected entreaties to negotiate Lebanon's future 
with the Syrian regime, apparently found the prospect of 
conducting similar negotiations with Tehran less 
objectionable.  Had the Iranians given the French some 
indication that they would be more forthcoming than Damascus? 
 No, Pescheux admitted, the Iranians had not tipped their 
hand; they had merely indicated that they were willing to 
talk. 
 
Supreme Leader Still on Top 
--------------------------- 
 
4. (C) Turning to the results of Iran's recent elections, 
Pescheux indicated that the French were pleasantly surprised 
by the outcome (immediately prior to the election, their 
reporting from Tehran suggested that President Ahmadinejad's 
supporters were poised to make significant gains in the 
Assembly of Experts).  The Quai's interpretation of the 
election results is that the axis between Supreme Leader 
Khamenei and former President Rafsanjani (i.e., the 
traditional conservatives) has been strengthened, with 
Khamenei remaining the supreme arbiter of Iran's political 
balance of power.  In an aside, Pescheux claimed that 
notwithstanding the French diplomatic presence in Tehran, the 
MFA has virtually no insight into the inner workings of the 
Pasdaran. 
 
 
Please visit Paris' Classified Website at: 
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/paris/index.c fm 
 
STAPLETON