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Viewing cable 09ANKARA1654, TURKEY: A/S GORDON PRESSES FM DAVUTOGLU ON IRAN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ANKARA1654 2009-11-17 17:05 2010-12-30 21:09 SECRET Embassy Ankara
VZCZCXRO0653
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK RUEHTRO
DE RUEHAK #1654/01 3211708
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 171708Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1256
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 001654 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT ALSO FOR EUR/SE 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/17/2019 
TAGS: KNNP PREL TU IR
SUBJECT: TURKEY: A/S GORDON PRESSES FM DAVUTOGLU ON IRAN 
 
REF: ANKARA 1626 
 
Classified By: Ambassador James Jeffrey, for reasons 1.4(b,d) 
 
1. (S) Iran dominated A/S Gordon's 40-minute meeting November 
12 with Foreign Minister Davutoglu.  The FM had just gotten 
off the phone with El-Baradei and had discussed in detail the 
IAEA proposal to send Iran's low enriched uranium to Turkey. 
El-Baradei had said he would "call Washington" that same 
morning.  This had followed two long "harsh" sessions with 
the Iranians in Istanbul on Sunday evening.  The Iranians 
have said they are willing to meet with Solana, but have told 
the Turks that they have serious problems with Cooper and the 
British.  They have "more trust" in the U.S.  The Iranians 
would also prefer to get fuel from the U.S. rather than the 
Russians. 
 
2. (S) Davutoglu said the Iranians:  a) are ready to send a 
delegation to Vienna to work out the specifics on this 
proposal; b) have given their "full trust" to Turkey; c) 
continue to face serious domestic problems inside Iran.  He 
said the Turks actually see Ahmadinejad as "more flexible" 
than others who are inside the Iranian Government. 
Ahmadinejad is facing "huge pressure" after statements from 
some P5 members to the effect that a nuclear deal would 
succeed in weakening Iran,s nuclear capability -- which is 
interpreted by some circles in Iran as a virtual defeat. 
 
3. (S) Given this context, the Turks had asked Ahmadinejad if 
the core of the issue is psychological rather than substance. 
 Ahmadinejad had said "yes," that the Iranians agree to the 
proposal but need to manage the public perception. 
Accordingly, the Iranians are proposing that the first 400 
kilos be transferred to Kish Island -- thereby keeping it on 
Iranian soil -- and would receive right away an equivalent 
amount (30-50 kilos) of enriched fuel.  The second stage 
would focus on the management of Iranian public opinion, 
after which Tehran would proceed with the Turkey option for 
the remaining 800 kilos, probably in two tranches.  Davutoglu 
said Baradei agreed to consider this. 
 
4. (S) Davutoglu noted that he had spoken to NSA General 
Jones Wednesday, who had said that we should perhaps suggest 
to the Iranians that they transfer 600 kilos to Kish Island 
and 600 kilos to Turkey simultaneously.  A/S Gordon said he 
could not give an official response to the proposal as this 
is the first time we heard it, but that he anticipates much 
skepticism about providing fuel to Iran before all the LEU 
has been taken out.  It would be better to get all 1200 kilos 
out right away. 
 
5. (C) Davutoglu noted that these are two different 
proposals.  The first is Iran's request for fuel for its 
nuclear reactor.  Even if this takes place, he said, we still 
need to work on limiting Iran's nuclear enrichment 
capability.  If we succeed with this proposal, he said, it 
will create "confidence" and a "new momentum" and would allow 
room for negotiation. 
 
6. (C) Noting that Davutoglu had only addressed the negative 
consequences of sanctions or the use of military force, 
Gordon pressed Davutoglu on Ankara's assessment of the 
consequences if Iran gets a nuclear weapon.  Davutoglu gave a 
spirited reply, that "of course" Turkey was aware of this 
risk.  This is precisely why Turkey is working so hard with 
the Iranians.  President Gul himself had spent two hours 
Sunday with Ahmadinejad in Istanbul. 
 
7. (C) Gordon noted that while we acknowledge that Turkey can 
be helpful as a mediator, some of the Prime Minister's recent 
public comments raise questions about how Turkey sees this 
issue.  Davutoglu said he is aware of these concerns, but 
contended that the Guardian newspaper had not accurately 
presented its recent interview with the Prime Minister.   The 
PM's comments had been taken out of context.  Erdogan had 
been asked if he views Iran as a friend.  If he had said 
"no," it would not have been possible to convince Tehran to 
cooperate on this latest proposal.  Only Turkey can speak 
bluntly and critically to the Iranians, Davutoglu contended, 
but only because Ankara is showing public messages of 
friendship. 
 
8. (C) Gordon pushed back that Ankara should give a stern 
public message about the consequences if UN resolutions are 
ignored.  Davutoglu countered that Erdogan had given just 
such a statement in Tehran when he visited.  He emphasized 
that Turkey's foreign policy is giving a "sense of justice" 
and a "sense of vision" to the region.  Turkey has provided a 
"third option" in addition to Iran and the Saudis (who he 
contended are viewed as "puppets" of the US).  The result, he 
said, is that we "limit Iranian influence in the region."  We 
 
ANKARA 00001654  002 OF 002 
 
 
need a "pro-Western approach AND a sense of justice." 
 
9. (C) A/S Gordon has cleared this cable. 
 
JEFFREY 
 
           "Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at http://www.intelink.s 
gov.gov/wiki/Portal:Turkey"