US embassy cable - 02ROME2257

ITALY SAYS IRAN MAY REALLY NEED SPEED BOATS

Identifier: 02ROME2257
Wikileaks: View 02ROME2257 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Rome
Created: 2002-05-09 13:48:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL PARM ETTC IR IT UN EXPORT CONTROLS
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 ROME 002257 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NP/ECNP, NP/ECS, NEA/NGA, EUR/PRA, EUR/WE 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/09/2012 
TAGS: PREL, PARM, ETTC, IR, IT, UN, EXPORT CONTROLS 
SUBJECT: ITALY SAYS IRAN MAY REALLY NEED SPEED BOATS 
 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        ROME  02257  091415Z 
REF: STATE 64844 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: CLASSIFIED BY ECOUNS KAREN MILLIKEN; REASON 1.5 B/D. 
 
1. (C) ACTION REQUEST AND SUMMARY.  ITALY WILL INVESTIGATE 
REFTEL POTENTIAL SALE OF HIGH-SPEED BOATS TO IRAN BUT, AT 
LEAST PRELIMINARILY, DOES NOT NECESSARILY AGREE THAT THE 
SALES WOULD EITHER VIOLATE ITALIAN LAW OR WOULD COME WITHIN 
THE PURVIEW OF WASSENAAR'S MUNITIONS LIST.  MFA'S 
NONPROLIFERATION COORDINATOR SAYS THAT ITALY WOULD NOT ALLOW 
THE SALES IF IT FOUND THE BOATS TO BE WARSHIPS.  ON THE OTHER 
HAND, HE SAID, IRAN HAS A LOT OF COAST TO PATROL AND SOME 
NEIGHBORS WHO NEED WATCHING.  SEE ACTION REQUEST PARA 4.  END 
ACTION REQUEST AND SUMMARY. 
 
2. (C) THE GOI WILL INVESTIGATE REFTEL'S POTENTIAL BOAT AND 
BOAT ENGINE SALES TO IRAN IN THE CONTEXT OF APPLICABLE 
NONPROLIFERATION OBLIGATIONS AND INTERESTS, MFA'S 
NONPROLIFERATION COORDINATOR UGO DE MOHR TOLD ECONOFF ON MAY 
8.  DE MOHR EXPLAINED THAT ITALY, NOTWITHSTANDING ITS VAST 
TRADE RELATIONS WITH IRAN, STEADFASTLY EMBARGOES SALES TO 
IRAN OF WEAPONS AND SENSITIVE DUAL USE GOODS AND 
TECHNOLOGIES.  REVIEWING REFTEL TALKING POINTS, HOWEVER, HE 
SAID HE COULD NOT AGREE THAT THE SALES WOULD NECESSARILY 
EITHER VIOLATE ITALIAN LAW OR REQUIRE ACTIVATION OF THE 
WASSENAAR PROCESS. 
 
3. (C) DE MOHR SAID THAT ITALIAN LAW REQUIRES A WEAPONS/ 
SENSITIVE DUAL USE EMBARGO AGAINST IRAN UNDER "CATCH HUMAN 
RIGHTS" PROVISIONS UNTIL IRAN COMPLIES WITH APPLICABLE UNITED 
NATIONS RESOLUTIONS BUT ADDED, "I AM NOT IN A POSITION TO 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        ROME  02257  091415Z 
SAY, HOWEVER, THAT THE PROPOSED SALES ARE CONTROLLED, THAT 
THEY SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS INTENDED FOR MILITARY PURPOSES." 
 HE SAID MFA WOULD TALK TO THE COMPANIES SPECIFIED REFTEL -- 
FABBIO BUZZI DESIGN AND ISOTTA FRANCHINI -- AND SHARE ITS 
FINDINGS WITH POST. 
 
4. (C) IN CLOSING, DE MOHR NOTED THAT "ANYTHING, EVEN A PAIR 
OF SHOES, CAN BE INTERPRETED AS DUAL USE.  IRAN YOU KNOW HAS 
A LOT OF COAST TO PATROL AND SOME NEIGHBORS WHO BEAR 
WATCHING."  ACTION REQUEST.  DE MOHR WAS NOT THE RECIPIENT OF 
LAST YEAR'S DEMARCHE IN WHICH WE ASKED MFA TO PREVAIL UPON 
THE IRANIANS TO STEP UP MONITORING OF OIL TANKERS IN ITS 
WATERS FOR POSSIBLE SMUGGLING OF IRAQI OIL IN CONTRAVENTION 
OF UN SANCTIONS.  ITALY CARRIED THAT MESSAGE TO IRAN, AND 
IRAN EVIDENTLY DID INCREASE SURVEILLANCE OF ITS WATERS.  WE 
EXPECT THAT OTHER MFA OFFICES, THE IRANIANS, OR THE COMPANIES 
INVOLVED WILL POSIT THIS KIND OF PATROLLING FUNCTION AS A 
LEGITIMATE END-USE FOR THESE SPEED BOATS.  WE WOULD 
APPRECIATE BENEFIT OF DEPARTMENT'S COUNTER-ARGUMENTS. 
SEMBLER 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
> 
 2002ROME02257 - Classification: CONFIDENTIAL 


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