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Viewing cable 07PARIS3733, FRENCH ELYSEE NEA ADVISER RECOUNTS TOUGH LINE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07PARIS3733 2007-09-07 18:06 2010-11-29 12:12 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Paris
VZCZCXRO2330
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK
DE RUEHFR #3733 2501830
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 071830Z SEP 07 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9971
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L PARIS 003733 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/07/2017 
TAGS: PREL PGOV FR IR
SUBJECT: FRENCH ELYSEE NEA ADVISER RECOUNTS TOUGH LINE 
TAKEN WITH IRANIANS 
 
REF: PARIS 3668 
 
Classified By: Classified by Polmincouns Josiah Rosenblatt for reasons 
1.4.(b), (d) 
 
1.  (C)  Following up on reftel, Polmincouns and poloff asked 
French presidential adviser for NEA issues Boris Boillon 
September 6 about the visit to Tehran by French Presidency 
official Richier and MFA DAS Gellet.  Polmincouns noted the 
stark phrasing in President Sarkozy's speech to French 
ambassadors (indicating the world faced the choice between 
Iran with a bomb or bombing Iran) and wondered what it meant 
in the context of the visit.  Boillon was glad we raised the 
subject and stated that Sarkozy had wanted to warn Iran in a 
dramatic and public way that it must cooperate with the 
international community with respect to its nuclear program 
or face potential catastrophe in the form of military action. 
 This did not mean, as some media were misinterpreting the 
statement, that France would be ready to participate in such 
action.  Far from it, Boillon continued; France vigorously 
opposed a resort to force and preferred to resolve the 
ongoing dispute diplomatically. 
 
2.  (C)  Boillon echoed much of what MFA DAS Gellet had 
related in reftel when he observed that the Iranians do not 
seem to understand the gravity of the situation or France's 
position.  They suffer, he complained, from a closed mindset 
that he later termed "autistic."  Boillon recounted in the 
same terms as Gellet the origin of the Iranian initiative 
from Ali Akbar Velayati, foreign affairs adviser to supreme 
leader Khamenei, to establish a special dialogue between 
Tehran and Paris.  Even before Richier and Gellet traveled, 
the GOF told the Iranians to "forget it" if their intention 
was to split France away from the P-5 plus one.  Richier and 
Gellet repeated this message in Tehran and indicated that 
France might be willing to speak of other subjects (NFI). 
Boillon believed the level was perfect in that the French 
sent senior working level officials well below the "political 
level," whereas Velayati clearly was at the political level. 
This disparity gave the French considerable leeway in terms 
of the frankness with which they could speak. 
 
3.  (C)  Boillon repeated that it was clear the Iranians did 
not understand or accept the blunt message they heard.  In 
his characteristic candor, Richier told Velayati and other 
Iranian officials that, absent full compliance, sanctions 
against Iran will only ratchet up.  As he previewed the tough 
line that Sarkozy would express in his speech, Richier added 
that France wants to avoid military action against Iran but 
might eventually have to accept it as the only recourse left 
to the international community to prevent a nuclear-armed 
Iran. 
 
4.  (C)  Boillon stated that the GOF had not decided whether 
to continue the dialogue that Richier and Gellet had started. 
 Diplomatic contacts, nevertheless, continue apace, and he 
pointed to a then current visit to Paris by Iranian Deputy 
Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Jalili. 
(Note:  As reported by a staffer of KM Kouchner September 7, 
Jalili had inexplicably not been briefed on Richier's and 
Gellet's message to Velayati.  End note)  Boillon contended 
that France had no problem pursuing a diplomatic dialogue per 
se and kept its embassy in Tehran for just such a reason.  As 
Richier told the Iranians, however, there was no need for a 
special channel if the Iranian aim was to pry France away 
from the P-5 plus one.  Richier was very direct that France 
had no intention to deviate from the line it was on with its 
partners.  Boillon expanded his assessment of the Iranians as 
"autistic like the Syrians.  As with the Syrians, one must be 
direct and not always 'diplomatic.'" 
 
Please visit Paris' Classified Website at: 
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/paris/index.c fm 
 
 
PEKALA