US embassy cable - 08ATHENS1347

GREECE/IRAN: FM BAKOYANNIS INSTRUCTS THAT ADVISORY BE ISSUED ON IRISL SERVICE/ERROR MESSAGE

Identifier: 08ATHENS1347
Wikileaks: View 08ATHENS1347 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Athens
Created: 2008-09-22 11:33:00
Classification: SECRET
Tags: GR IS ECON EFIN EWWT ETRD PARM PREL KNNP EUN
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTH #1347 2661133
ZNY SSSSS ZZH (CCY ADX0DC4354 WSC2778 611)
O 221133Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY ATHENS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2529
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0394
S E C R E T ATHENS 001347 
 
SIPDIS 
 
C O R R E C T E D  C O P Y (GARBLE TEXT) 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/18/2018 
TAGS: GR, IS, ECON, EFIN, EWWT, ETRD, PARM, PREL, KNNP, EUN 
SUBJECT: GREECE/IRAN: FM BAKOYANNIS INSTRUCTS THAT ADVISORY 
BE ISSUED ON IRISL 
SERVICE/ERROR MESSAGE 
 
REF: A. SECSTATE 94723 
     B. ATHENS 1328 
 
Classified By: DCM DEBORAH MCCARTHY.  REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
1. (S) DepPolCouns discussed ref A points on Greek 
interactions with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines 
(IRISL) with MFA A6 Directorate for Middle East Affairs 
deputy head Giorgos Ayfantis.  He later informed us that FM 
Bakoyannis had agreed to the requests and that an advisory 
would be issued. 
 
2. (S) DCM raised the demarche ponts with Deputy Minister 
for Mercantile Marine and Aegean Issues Panos Kammenos. 
When told that FM Bakoyannis had agreed to issue an dvisory, 
Kammenos was supportive.  He subsequently told us that his 
ministry had issued the advisory to the shippers. 
 
3. (S) DCM also discussed the matter with the Israeli 
Ambassador, and we provided him with a copy of the points. 
The Ambassador thanked us for the information and said he 
would immediately take the matter up with the Greeks. 
DepEconCouns provided the points as well to Ioannis 
Sidiropoulos, Secretary General of the Ministry of Economy 
and Finance; Panagiotis homopoulos, Deputy Governor of the 
Bank of Greece (BG); and Panagiotis Kyriakopoulos, Director 
of Monetary Policy of Banks of the Bank of Greece. 
 
4. (S) COMMENT: The GOG is supportive of our efforts with 
regard to IISL and has issued the advisory as we requested. 
At the same time, both Foreign Ministry and Mercantile Marine 
interlocutors warned that Greek shippers did not always 
adhere to warnings issued by the GOG.  The MFA's yfantis 
explained that the Greek shipping business was very cynical 
about government actions.  Some shippers would try to bargain 
about the scope of the warnings, while others would simply 
try to circumvent, particularly those who had already 
benefited from business with the Iranians and had a tradition 
of working outside the law.  He cited the case of shippers 
who quietly but effectively worked with -- and made fortunes 
from -- the Rhodesians when that regime was under heavy 
international pressure.  Deputy Minister of Mercantile Marine 
Kammenos similarly drew our attention to peculiarities of the 
Greek shipping market that complicated the application of 
sanctions.  He noted that the older generation of shippers 
were for the most part cooperative with the government on 
priority cases, though usually more so when matters were 
handled orally and not put into writing.  The younger 
generation was even harder to deal with.  Kammenos 
nevertheless promised to do what he could to assist.  Embassy 
will pursue the issue further with shipping contacts. 
SPECKHARD 

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