US embassy cable - 02ROME1233

MINISTER MARZANO VISITS IRAN

Identifier: 02ROME1233
Wikileaks: View 02ROME1233 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Rome
Created: 2002-03-08 16:14:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL PGOV ENRG ETRD IR PGOV ENRG ETRD IR IT ITPREL
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ROME 001233 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/07/2012 
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, ENRG, ETRD, IR, PGOV, ENRG, ETRD, IR, IT, ITPREL 
SUBJECT: MINISTER MARZANO VISITS IRAN 
 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: CDA POPE FOR REASON 1.5(B) 
 
1.  (C) SUMMARY:  AMBASSADOR SEMBLER ENGAGED THE MINISTER 
OF PRODUCTIVE ACTIVITIES ON IRAN, UNDERSCORING OUR CONCERNS 
WITH IRANIAN BEHAVIOR.  MARZANO'S RELATIVE UNFAMILIARITY 
WITH OUR OBJECTIONS OR WITH THE DIVISION BETWEEN THE 
OFFICIAL AND SHADOW GOVERNMENTS IN CONTROLLING IRAN SHOWS 
THE NECESSITY OF REPEATING OUR MESSAGE FREQUENTLY AND 
CLEARLY.  END SUMMARY. 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        ROME  01233  01 OF 02  100126Z 
2.  (U) TUESDAY, MARCH 5, THE AMBASSADOR PAID A COURTESY 
CALL ON MINISTER FOR PRODUCTIVE ACTIVITIES, ANTONIO 
MARZANO.  ALSO PRESENT WERE DCM POPE, ECMIN DEAN, AND MPA 
DIPLOMATIC ADVISOR GABRIELE CHECCHIA.  THE MEETING 
PRINCIPALLY ADDRESSED TWO TOPICS:  MARZANO'S RECENT VISIT 
TO IRAN AND OUR ADVOCACY FOR THE JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER.  THE 
JSF WILL BE COVERED SEPTEL. 
 
3.  (SBU) RESPONDING TO THE AMBASSADOR'S INVITATION TO HEAR 
ABOUT HIS TRIP TO IRAN, MARZANO SAID THAT HE HAD GONE FOR 
TWO REASONS.  THE FIRST, MORE OBVIOUS ONE, WAS ECONOMIC. 
ITALY DOES A LOT OF BUSINESS IN IRAN AND MARZANO FOUND IT 
USEFUL TO VISIT.  IN THIS INSTANCE THERE WERE TWO LARGE 
CONTRACTS IN DIFFICULTY, ONE FOR ELECTRICITY GENERATION AND 
ANOTHER FOR ALUMINUM PRODUCTION.  MARZANO FELT THAT HIS 
INTERVENTION HAD STRAIGHTENED OUT THE PROBLEMS. 
 
4.  (C) THE SECOND REASON FOR THE VISIT WAS POLITICAL, BUT 
MARZANO SAID THIS WAS "ALMOST BY ACCIDENT".  THE MEETING 
WITH PRESIDENT KHATAMI WAS UNSCHEDULED.  MARZANO THOUGHT 
THAT HE WAS A REFORMIST, WHO WAS MAKING THE SOCIETY FREER. 
THE PROBLEM WAS HIS ENEMIES, THE FANATIC MULLAHS. 
UNFORTUNATELY PRESIDENT BUSH'S STATEMENT ABOUT THE 'AXIS 
OF EVIL' ONLY SERVED TO STRENGTHEN THOSE EXTREMISTS. 
MARZANO TOLD US THAT, IN AN IRANIAN PRESS CONFERENCE, IN 
RESPONSE TO A QUESTION HE HAD EXPLAINED THE 'AXIS OF EVIL' 
AS A WARNING, NOT AS A U.S. DECLARATION OF WAR, THAT IT 
SHOULD BE TAKEN AS A CAUTION NOT AS AN ACTION.  MARZANO 
CONCLUDED BY ENDORSING THE ITALIAN POLICY LINE THAT IT 
WOULD BE USEFUL TO REINFORCE THE MODERATE FORCES HEADED 
BY KHATAMI. 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        ROME  01233  01 OF 02  100126Z 
 
5.  (C) SWITCHING TO AFGHANISTAN AND IRAN, MARZANO 
REPORTED THAT IRAN SEEKS PEACE IN AFGHANISTAN AND FEELS FOR 
ITS PEOPLE.  IRAN IS READY TO BE A PLATFORM FOR 
HUMANITARIAN AIR SUPPORT TO AFGHANISTAN.  MARZANO ADMITTED 
THAT HE DID NOT KNOW WHAT HAPPENED IN PRIVATE COUNCILS, BUT 
THAT ITALY NONETHELESS THOUGHT IT WAS IMPORTANT TO 
REINFORCE KHATAMI AND THOSE WHO WOULD ENDORSE CHANGE.  THE 
DCM ADDED THAT THE IRANIANS HAD PLAYED A CONSTRUCTIVE ROLE 
IN BONN, BUT THAT THEY HAVE NOT FOLLOWED UP.  RATHER THEY 
ARE STARTING TO PLAY A DESTABILIZING ROLE, AND THIS 
RE-IGNITES U.S. CONCERNS ABOUT IRAN'S REAL INTENTIONS. 
 
6.  (C) MARZANO NOTED THAT ITALY IS ONE OF IRAN'S MAJOR 
EUROPEAN IMPORTERS, PARTICULARLY OF ENERGY.  ENI AND ENEL 
PLUS MANY OTHERS WORK DIRECTLY WITH IRAN AND THE 
RELATIONSHIP IS TOO IMPORTANT TO BREAK.   ON IMPORTS, 
MARZANO TOLD KHATAMI THAT IRAN SHOULD NOT EVEN SEEK TO 
IMPORT DUAL USE ITEMS.  ASKED IF THERE WAS A SPECIFIC 
REQUEST WHICH HAD TRIGGERED THIS STATEMENT, MARZANO 
REPORTED THAT APPARENTLY THERE IS CONSIDERABLE HEPATITIS 
B IN IRAN AND THE IRANIANS WERE SEEKING TO IMPORT 
EQUIPMENT THAT COULD PRODUCE VACCINES, BUT WHICH COULD 
ALSO BE USED FOR BIO WARFARE.  CONSEQUENTLY HE WAS ADAMANT 
IN REFUSING THE APPROVAL. 
 
7.  (C) THE AMBASSADOR MADE IT CLEAR THAT HOWEVER 
SYMPATHETIC ITALY WAS TO IRAN, IRANIAN INTERNATIONAL 
BEHAVIOR WAS UNACCEPTABLE.  IN IRAN THERE ARE BOTH ELECTED 
POWERS AND UNELECTED POWERS.  THE MULLAHS CONTROL THE 
MILITARY, THE COURTS AND THE SECURITY SERVICES, SO THE 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        ROME  01233  01 OF 02  100126Z 
ELECTED GOVERNMENT IS NOT IN CHARGE.   FOR EXAMPLE, EVEN 
THOUGH THE ELECTED GOVERNMENT MAY GIVE ASSURANCES THEY ARE 
NOT DESTABILIZING THE MIDDLE EAST, THE CAPTURE OF THE 
KARIN A LOADED WITH IRANIAN WEAPONS BELIES THEM.  IRAN HAS 
THE CAPABILITY TO PRODUCE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION AND 
TO EXPORT THEM, DESTABILIZING THE MIDDLE EAST.  THE 
AMBASSADOR ADDED THAT WE ARE READY TO SIT DOWN WITH IRAN 
ANYTIME; THE PROBLEM IS IN TEHERAN.  IRAN'S ACTIONS MUST BE 
IN CONFORMITY WITH ITS WORDS.   COMMENT:  MARZANO APPEARED 
NOT TO HAVE HEARD THIS LINE OF DISCUSSION BEFORE AND WAS 
SURPRISED THAT WE WOULD SAY THE U.S. WAS WILLING TO TALK TO 
IRAN.  HE DID AGREE THAT KHATAMI DID NOT CONTROL THE 
GOVERNMENT.  IT APPEARS, MARZANO HAS NOT SERIOUSLY ENGAGED 
U.S. THINKING ON IRAN BEFORE AND THAT THE DISCONNECT 
BETWEEN IRAN'S PUBLIC STATEMENTS AND PRIVATE ACTS, BETWEEN 
OFFICIALS AND THE SHADOW GOVERNMENT WERE NEW CONCEPTS.  END 
COMMENT. 
 
8.  (SBU) ON THE MIDDLE EAST, MARZANO WAS CONCERNED THAT 
EVENTS HAD REACHED AN IMPASSE, THAT THE TWO SIDES 
WERE AT A POINT WHERE EACH SIDE BELIEVES IT HAS TO KILL 
MORE OF THE OTHER TO BRING THEM TO THE NEGOTIATING TABLE 
AND TO GET THEM TO STOP THE VIOLENCE.  MARZANO WAS APPALLED 
BY THE STATE OF AFFAIRS AND FELT THAT VENDETTAS ONLY BRING 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ8993 
 
PAGE 01        ROME  01233  02 OF 02  100127Z 
ACTION EUR-00 
 
INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AGRE-00  AID-00   CEA-01   CIAE-00  COME-00 
      CTME-00  DINT-00  DODE-00  DOEE-00  DOTE-00  SRPP-00  EB-00 
      E-00     VC-00    FRB-00   H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00   ITC-01 
      LAB-01   L-00     AC-01    NEA-00   NSAE-00  NSCE-00  OES-01 
      OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PM-00    PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00 
      SP-00    SSO-00   SS-00    STR-00   TRSE-00  T-00     USIE-00 
      EPAE-00  PMB-00   DRL-02   G-00     SAS-00     /010W 
                  ------------------720378  100127Z /69 
R 081614Z MAR 02 
FM AMEMBASSY ROME 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 2658 
 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 ROME 001233 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/07/2012 
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, ENRG, ETRD, IR, IT 
SUBJECT: MINISTER MARZANO VISITS IRAN 
 
FORTH MORE VENDETTAS IN RESPONSE. 
POPE 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
> 
 2002ROME01233 - Classification: CONFIDENTIAL 


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