US embassy cable - 06OSLO296

NORWAY CLAIMS "NO NEW CHANNEL" TO IRAN

Identifier: 06OSLO296
Wikileaks: View 06OSLO296 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Oslo
Created: 2006-03-10 17:16:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PARM PREL AORC IR NO KNNP
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNY #0296/01 0691716
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 101716Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY OSLO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3606
INFO RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1314
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0890
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN PRIORITY 0539
C O N F I D E N T I A L OSLO 000296 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/10/2016 
TAGS: PARM, PREL, AORC, IR, NO, KNNP 
SUBJECT: NORWAY CLAIMS "NO NEW CHANNEL" TO IRAN 
 
REF: A. SECSTATE 35677 
 
     B. LONDON 1773 
     C. PARIS 1410 
 
Classified By: P/E Counselor Mike Hammer, reason 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
1. (C) We raised reftel concerns with MFA Assistant Secretary 
for Security Policy Kaare Aas, freshly back from the IAEA 
Board Meeting in Vienna, on March 10.  Aas tried to spin the 
visit of Norwegian State Secretary Raymond Johansen in the 
best light, stressing that the concept of a broader security 
dialogue with Iran was based on the understanding that Iran 
would fully implement all IAEA decisions.  Norway already has 
a dialogue with Iran on human rights, and inter-religious 
dialogue, and therefore security would just be an new 
dimension of ongoing discussions.  "No new channel," were his 
words.  On the defensive, Aas also said Norway had informed 
all members of the IAEA Board at the February meeting that 
Norway planned to engage Iran on a broader range of security 
issues.  Aas noted that the proposals in the Norwegian 
presentation of broader security dialogue with Iran were 
directly drawn from previous EU3 perimeters. 
 
2.  (C) We countered that while the concept of Johansen's 
visiting Iran to push for Iranian compliance was understood, 
the idea of a broader security dialogue with Iran was a bad 
idea and would only play into Iranian efforts to divide the 
international community.  We also questioned Aas's assertions 
that several members of the international community were 
supportive of the need for increased dialogue with Iran. 
Under pressure Aas admitted that Norway now recognized that 
neither the EU3 nor the U.S. were supportive of Norway 
engendering a wider security dialogue with Iran, although he 
maintained that there were slight variations in the reaction 
from the EU3 to Johansen's trip (in contradiction to ref b 
and c). 
 
3.  (C) Aas asked if it was a question of the level of 
interaction with Iran that caused concern.  Would the U.S. 
support Norway pursuing a security dialogue with Iran at the 
official level instead of the political level, he asked.  We 
flatly told Aas that the problem was with Norway having this 
kind of security agenda with Iran, not of level of 
interaction. 
 
4.  (C) Aas promised that he would convey our concerns up to 
his minister.  Aas made clear that the momentum for engaging 
with Iran was being driven by Foreign Minister Stoere.  The 
Stoltenberg government, Aas said, was intent on contributing 
to a diplomatic solution with Iran; Stoere wants to play a 
role.  That said, Aas conceded that the Iranian statements in 
Vienna left little hope of Iranian flexibility and were 
similar to the Iranian positions that Johansen had heard in 
Iran. 
 
5.  (C) Aas said that FM Stoere has asked the MFA Security 
Policy department to prepare a new assessment as to how to 
proceed with regard to Iran.  Aas assured us that the 
reactions from the "P5 and Germany" would play into the 
assessment that he will send to Stoere and promised to share 
that assessment with us as well, in order to maintain full 
transparency.  He forecast that the assessment would 
recommend that any further steps towards pursuing dialogue 
with Iran should be contingent upon how Iran behaves when 
UNSC considers the matter. 
 
6.  (C) Aas went on to discuss other aspects of an active 
foreign policy agenda that FM Stoere plans to pursue.  Stoere 
has directed Aas to begin thinking about the formulation for 
a to-be-defined Norwegian initiative against cluster bombs. 
Aas also indicated that he hoped to travel to Washington in 
April in order to lay out Norwegian plans for reviving the 
non-proliferation UN Summit resolution that Norway failed to 
promote successfully last summer/autumn. 
 
7.  (C) Comment.  Reflecting his keen desire for Norway to 
play a more active role in promoting dialogue and mediation 
internationally, Stoere appears intent for Norway to be a 
"player" on Iran.  There is no doubt that Norwegians have 
heard the EU3 and U.S. concerns about starting a broader 
security dialogue with Iran, and are unlikely to take any 
more steps in this direction, pending UNSC action and Iranian 
reaction.  However, Norway is clearly not giving up hope that 
it can play a role in finding a diplomatic solution on Iran. 
We welcome Aas's assurance that Norway will be transparent, 
but we can only hope that Norway will listen to future 
concerns more cautiously than it did to EU3 misgivings before 
Johansen traveled.  Foreign Minister Stoere knows that he has 
the support of the Prime Minister and the Labor party to go 
forward with this sort of approach (be it Iran, 
non-proliferation, or cluster bombs).  The Stoltenberg 
government as a whole does not yet seem to have come to grips 
with the fact that Norway's credibility as an effective 
international partner and advocate for peace can be seriously 
compromised if Norway fails to maintain its allies' 
confidence or decides to go at it alone. 
 
Visit Oslo's Classified website: 
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/oslo/index.cf m 
 
WHITNEY 

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