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Viewing cable 09PARIS1046, IRAN: EU DIPLOMATS TO ATTEND AHMADINEJAD

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09PARIS1046 2009-07-31 15:03 2010-11-29 12:12 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Paris
VZCZCXRO1400
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHFR #1046 2121551
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 311551Z JUL 09
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6894
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L PARIS 001046 
 
SIPDIS 
NOFORN 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/31/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL FR
SUBJECT: IRAN: EU DIPLOMATS TO ATTEND AHMADINEJAD 
INAUGURATION 
 
Classified By: Political Minister-Counselor Kathleen H. Allegrone, for 
reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1.  (C/NF) European Union members will send low-ranking 
diplomats to the first of two inauguration ceremonies for 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but they will not inform the Iranians of 
their plans, according to French MFA Acting Middle East 
Director (Assistant-Secretary equivalent) Jean-Christophe 
Paucelle.  If the Iranians find out beforehand that the EU 
will not send Ambassador-level representation, Paucelle told 
poloff early July 31, then they may rescind the invitations 
to the August 3 event, as they did in similar circumstances 
prior to former President Khatami's inauguration in 1997. 
"It's hard to keep a secret when 27 nations are involved," 
Paucelle noted, "but we are trying."  Only the Swedish EU 
Presidency will be represented by an Ambassador, Paucelle 
said. 
 
2.  (C/NF) All EU members will, however, send their 
Ambassadors to the August 5 inauguration ceremony in the 
Iranian Parliament.  Paucelle adopted a defensive tone when 
explaining this decision, which he said was finalized in 
Brussels the morning of July 31.  He admitted this issue had 
generated tense and fractious debate among European foreign 
ministers.  "We are caught between two conflicting 
objectives," Paucelle explained.  "On the one hand, we want 
to communicate that we do not approve of this illegitimate 
election.  On the other hand, we need to be realistic: the 
power is in the hands of Khameini and Ahmadinejad, including 
the nuclear file, and we must negotiate with those in power. 
You are in the same position."  Paucelle insisted that the EU 
will continue to respect what he described as "the Durban red 
lines."  "We will walk right out if Ahmadinejad denies the 
Holocaust or declares that his regime will destroy Israel." 
(NOTE: Paucelle admitted that since non-Muslims had never 
before received an invitation to the inauguration ceremony 
presided over by the Supreme Leader, EU diplomats in Tehran 
have never entered the building where the event will take 
place, and so they are not sure how they will stage their 
walk-out, logistically, should they need to do so.  They are 
worried that the doors may be locked.  END NOTE.)  Paucelle 
also reported that the German Ambassador will return from his 
vacation on August 4 to ensure that he will miss the first 
ceremony and attend the second one along with his EU 
counterparts.  The British Ambassador will attend as well, 
even without credentials.  "The Iranians are desperate for 
recognition and so they have disregarded their usual devotion 
to protocol -- and their anti-British vitriol -- on this 
occasion." 
 
3.  (C/NF) Paucelle said that the case of detained French 
citizen Clothilde Reiss has also influenced the EU decision 
to attend the inauguration ceremonies.  "We think she may be 
released soon, and we don't want to create another irritant," 
Paucelle said.  "There are enough already."  He reported that 
the French have reason to believe Reiss may form part of a 
group of detainees likely to be released on the August 7 
anniversary of Imam Mahdi.  Paucelle noted that a letter 
released July 29 by Ahmadinejad supported the idea of 
granting clemency to post-election protesters during Mahdi 
celebrations.  "The Iranians will need to take face-saving 
measures, and so she will likely transfer to house arrest or 
some other status," Paucelle said.  He added that, of course, 
she may not be released at all next week, but the French 
remain optimistic that she will soon be out of prison. 
PEKALA