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Viewing cable 09ISLAMABAD1152, U.S. REMOVAL OF PAKISTAN RESEARCH REACTOR FUEL ON

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ISLAMABAD1152 2009-05-27 16:04 2010-11-30 21:09 SECRET Embassy Islamabad
VZCZCXRO3997
PP RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHIL #1152 1471632
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 271632Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2939
INFO RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0361
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0460
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 4966
RUEHPW/AMCONSUL PESHAWAR 6251
RUEHLH/AMCONSUL LAHORE 7312
RUEHKP/AMCONSUL KARACHI 1712
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
S E C R E T ISLAMABAD 001152 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/27/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER PARM KNNP MNUC PK
SUBJECT: U.S. REMOVAL OF PAKISTAN RESEARCH REACTOR FUEL ON 
HOLD 

Classified By: Anne W. Patterson for reasons 1.4 (b) (d) 

1. (S) XXXXXXXXXXXX, told Poloff on May 26 that the 
recent spate of media attention on Pakistan's nuclear 
security has led the GOP to delay an important 
nonproliferation effort, the removal of U.S.-origin 
highly-enriched uranium spent fuel from a Pakistani nuclear 
research reactor. The GOP agreed in principle to the fuel 
removal in 2007, but has been slow in scheduling a visit by 
U.S. technical experts to discuss logistical and other 
issues. In recent months, the Strategic Plans Division and 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs both indicated progress on the 
matter and a proposed visit for late May was under review. 
However, according to XXXXXXXXXXXX, a recent GOP interagency review 
of the program concluded that the "sensational" international 
and local media coverage of the security of Pakistan's 
nuclear weapons made it impossible to proceed at this time. 
If the local media got word of the fuel removal, "they 
certainly would portray it as the United States taking 
Pakistan's nuclear weapons," he argued. The visit will have 
to be delayed for 3-4 months or until the political climate 
makes it more conducive to hosting a U.S. visit, he stated. 

2. (S) Comment: As noted in previous post reporting, the GOP 
is extremely sensitive to media focus on Pakistan's nuclear 
program. In a sign of their growing defensiveness, the 
Foreign Office Spokesman took significant time out of his May 
21 press conference to address nuclear security, stating 
categorically, "there is simply no question of our strategic 
assets falling into the wrong hands." To a question about 
reported offers of U.S. help with nuclear security, he 
responded, "we do not need this assistance." With the 
postponement of the nuclear fuel removal, it is clear that 
the negative media attention has begun to hamper U.S. efforts 
to improve Pakistan's nuclear security and nonproliferation 
practices. End Comment. 
PATTERSON