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WikiLeaks: 2001-03-12: 01VATICAN1390: Foreign Minister Tauran's visit to Iran

Posted: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at 08:20 PM CT


Viewing cable 01VATICAN1390, FOREIGN MINISTER TAURAN'S VISIT TO IRAN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
01VATICAN1390 2001-03-12 17:18 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vatican
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 VATICAN 001390 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT. FOR EUR/WE (VAN CLEVE); NEA/IAI; NEA/NGA 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/11/11 
TAGS: PREL PHUM KIRF IT IS SY VT
SUBJECT: FOREIGN MINISTER TAURAN'S VISIT TO IRAN 
 
 
1. (U) CLASSIFIED BY CDA JOSEPH MERANTE
FOR REASONS 1.5 (A) AND (D). 
 
2. (C) CHARGE CALLED ON VATICAN DIRECTOR OF MIDDLE 
EASTERN AFFAIRS MONS. GIANNI D'ANIELLO ON MARCH 12 TO 
DISCUSS FOREIGN MINISTER TAURAN'S MARCH 3-8 TRIP TO IRAN. 
D'ANIELLO, WHO ACCOMPANIED THE FOREIGN MINISTER, 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        VATICA  01390  121701Z 
CATEGORIZED THE VISIT AS "HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL".  HE SAID 
THE MAIN PURPOSE OF THE VISIT WAS TO LOBBY FOR INCREASED 
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM FOR CATHOLICS, AS WELL AS FOR OTHER 
CHRISTIANS IN IRAN.  ACCORDING TO D'ANIELLO, THE LARGEST 
GROUPS IN COMMUNION WITH ROME ARE THE CHALDEANS, SOME 
MELKITES, AND EUROPEANS WHO WOULD BE MEMBERS OF THE LATIN 
CHURCH.  TWO OTHER MAIN BODIES OF CHRISTIANS ON WHOSE 
BEHALF THE VATICAN WANTED TO SPEAK ARE THE ASSYRIAN 
CHURCH OF THE EAST, AND THE SYRIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH. 
D'ANIELLO SAID THAT IN GENERAL, RELIGIOUS FREEDOM FOR 
THESE CHRISTIAN GROUPS WAS NOT GREATLY CURTAILED, AND THE 
IRANIAN GOVERNMENT PROMISED EVEN GREATER LATITUDE.  HE 
SAID THAT HE AND TAURAN FOUND STATEMENTS BY GOVERNMENT 
OFFICIALS INDICATIVE OF AN EVOLVING OPENNESS ON THE PART 
OF IRAN, BUT ADDED THAT THE VATICAN IS STILL UNSURE IF WE 
CAN EXPECT CONTINUED OPENNESS OR A RETURN TO MORE 
REACTIONARY POLICIES. 
 
3. (C) D'ANIELLO SAID THAT TAURAN RAISED THE SITUATION OF 
THE IRANIAN JEWS WHO WERE SENTENCED FOR SPYING FOR ISRAEL 
DIRECTLY IN A PRIVATE CONVERSATION WITH PRESIDENT 
KHATAMI.  HE SAID THE PRESIDENT WAS NONCOMMITTAL. 
HOWEVER, ON THE ISSUE OF THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS, 
D'ANIELLO SAID THAT IRAN AGREES WITH THE VATICAN, THAT 
THE VIOLENCE MUST END AND THAT THE TWO PARTIES RESUME 
NEGOTIATIONS.  D'ANIELLO USED THIS OPPORTUNITY TO SAY 
THAT HE "WASN'T SPEAKING OFFICIALLY" BUT THAT THE VATICAN 
IS HAVING INCREASED CONCERNS THAT IN AN ULTIMATE 
AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE TWO SIDES, THE CHRISTIANS OF 
JERUSALEM WILL BE "LEFT OUT".  HE ASKED THAT WE PAY 
ATTENTION TO THE NEEDS OF ALL THREE RELIGIOUS GROUPS IN 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        VATICA  01390  121701Z 
ANY DISCUSSIONS IN WHICH THE U.S MIGHT TAKE PART. (NOTE: 
THIS DIM VIEW OF THE MEPP WAS ALSO REFLECTED IN A 3/11 
DINNER CONVERSATION ACTING DCM HAD WITH ISRAELI EMBASSY 
DCM. THE ISRAELI DCM RELATED THAT THE VATICAN HAD 
REBUFFED THE ISRAELI EMBASSY'S ATTEMPTS TO SECURE A 
LOCATION IN VATICAN CITY TO HOLD AN EVENT COMMEMORATING 
THE LST ANNIVERSARY OF THE POPE'S VISIT, SAYING THAT THE 
HOLY SEE DID NOT "VIEW THAT VISIT AS A SUCCESS.") 
 
4. (C) CHARGE CALLED AUSTRIAN DCM LATER IN THE DAY TO GET 
READOUT OF FM TAURAN'S MORNING BRIEFING ON THE TRIP TO EU 
EMBASSIES.  ACCORDING TO AUSTRIAN DCM, TAURAN SAID HE 
RAISED 1) IMPORTATION OF BIBLES; 2) THE NEED FOR A 
JUDICIAL STATUS FOR THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN IRAN; 3) 
RETURN OF SOME PROPERTIES CONFISCATED AFTER THE 1979 
REVOLUTION. HE ALSO TOLD THE EU AMBASSADORS THAT KHATAMI 
SAID THE SENTENCES OF THE IRANIAN JEWS WERE "FINAL", BUT 
"EARLY PARDON" SHOULD NOT BE RULED OUT. 
 
5. (C) D'ANIELLO ALSO USED THE VISIT TO PRESENT A NOTE 
VERBALE ON THE CASE OF ZIVKOVICH AND ALPERIN VS. THE 
IOR.(SEPTEL TO FOLLOW, NOTE FAXED TO EUR/WE, L/DL 3/12). 
 
6. (C) COMMENT: A MAJOR FOREIGN POLICY GOAL OF THE 
VATICAN IS PROTECTION OF THE CHRISTIANS IN ISLAMIC 
COUNTRIES.  THUS, IN THOSE ISLAMIC COUNTRIES, SUCH AS 
IRAN AND IRAQ, IN WHICH THE VATICAN BELIEVES THE STATUS 
OF CHRISTIANS IS NOT GREATLY COMPROMISED, WE SHOULD 
EXPECT VATICAN ENGAGEMENT AND SUPPORT.  MERANTE 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        VATICA  01390  121701Z 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
> 
 

 2001VATICA01390 - Classification: CONFIDENTIAL

 


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