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WikiLeaks: 2006-08-14: 06DUBAI5191: IRPO: Iranian MPs Indicate U.S. Message Not Reaching Populace

by WikiLeaks. 06DUBAI5191: August 14, 2006.

Posted: Thursday, October 04, 2012 at 05:46 PM UT


Viewing cable 06DUBAI5191, IRPO: IRANIAN MPS INDICATE US MESSAGE NOT REACHING POPULACE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06DUBAI5191 2006-08-14 12:07 2011-08-30 01:44 SECRET Consulate Dubai
VZCZCXRO9638
RR RUEHBC RUEHKUK
DE RUEHDE #5191/01 2261207
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 141207Z AUG 06
FM AMCONSUL DUBAI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3056
INFO RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI 1705
RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 0123
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA 0104
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 0013
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEHDE/AMCONSUL DUBAI 6048
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 DUBAI 005191 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR DRL, R, NEA 
NSC FOR M. SINGH 
ALSO FOR USDAO ABU DHABI 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL:  8/14/2016 
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON ENRG ETTC IR ZP AE
SUBJECT: IRPO: IRANIAN MPS INDICATE US MESSAGE NOT REACHING POPULACE 
 
DUBAI 00005191  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: Timothy M. Brys, Acting IRPO Chief, Dubai, UAE. 
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d) 
 
 
 
1.(S//NF) Summary: Iran Regional Presence Office (IRPO) Chief 
and IRPOoff met three Iranian Majles deputies (MPs) in early 
August. The MPs explained average Iranians want peaceful nuclear 
technology, not nuclear weapons. They said Iranians only hear 
the government's line on the matter and do not know USG policy, 
a situation they urged the USG to rectify. One MP said he 
expects the GOI to reject the P5+1 offer. USG visa rejections 
for a Sharif University reunion in California have damaged the 
US image in Iranian eyes and produced confusion about US visa 
policy. The MP from Ardabil believes Iran instigated Hizballah's 
kidnapping of Israeli soldiers that sparked the violence in 
Lebanon. He also said he sees Iranian interference in Iraq and 
though he supports regime change in Iran, prefers change from 
within.  End Summary. 
 
2.(C//NF) Iran Regional Presence Office (IRPO) Chief and IRPOoff 
met with three Iranian MPs, all of whom were in Dubai applying 
for US visas. On August 2, Iran's Assyrian MP, Yonathan Bet 
Kolia, spoke about Iranian impressions of USG policies and the 
status of religious minorities (septel). Bet Kolia sought a visa 
to visit his AmCit wife and children who have lived in the US 
for 12 years. He said he remains in Iran because the Assyrian 
community asks him to fill leadership positions. This is his 
second term in parliament, where he sits on the executive 
committee of the Majles Cultural Commission. On August 7, Moris 
Motamed, Iran's Jewish MP, commented on the nuclear issue and 
Iran's role in Lebanon. Motamed is serving his second term in 
parliament. He also works as an Iranian topography consultant. 
On August 8, Nouradin Pirmoazen, Ardabil's reformist MP and a 
surgeon specializing in thoracic operations, offered candid 
recommendations on how the USG could better reach the Iranian 
population. 
 
Iran's Nuclear Portfolio: US Message Not Reaching Iranians 
--------------------------------------------- ------------- 
 
3.(C) All three MPs claim Iranians support acquiring nuclear 
technology for peaceful purposes. Bet Kolia said Iranians 
regularly suffer electricity blackouts that ruin refrigerated 
food and therefore see the need to supplement Iran's energy 
supply. Each MP indicated Iranians only hear the government's 
line on this issue, which characterizes USG policy as opposing 
Iran's acquisition of nuclear technology and technological 
advancement in general. IRPO Chief explained the USG does not 
want Iran to enrich its own uranium because of nuclear weapons 
concerns but is not against access to nuclear technology for 
energy generation. The MPs said this message has not filtered 
through to the street. In any case, the average Iranian would 
not understand the technical issues involved. Pirmoazen in 
particular provided two suggestions to clarify USG policies and 
combat the government's line. First, the USG should simplify its 
message. Second, it should engage Iranians directly through 
effective speakers on Radio Farda and VOA. Bet Kolia described 
Iranians as highly factionalized but also nationalistic; they 
tend to unite against common threats. For this reason, he 
advised USG actions considered belligerent by Iranians would 
alienate those with normally pro-American sensibilities. 
 
4.(C//NF) Pirmoazen discussed Iran's larger nuclear strategy. He 
believes the Iranian government will reject the P5+1 proposal. 
He said those in charge of Iranian nuclear policy currently 
perceive the US as relatively weak considering the resources it 
must devote to Iraq and Afghanistan, high oil prices, and, in 
the policy makers' view, a faltering economy. These factors 
embolden Iranian policymakers to confront the US over the 
nuclear program. He said Iran knows the US election cycle -- 
Iran will stall for two years until President Bush finishes his 
second term and a new president emerges before deciding on 
longer-term nuclear strategy. Motamed estimated 190 of Iran's 
290 MPs support Iran's current nuclear stance. The remainder 
want to cooperate with the IAEA to move Iran back into 
international favor. 
 
Sharif University Visa Rejections 
--------------------------------- 
 
 
DUBAI 00005191  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
5.(C) All three MPs expressed dismay about the last minute visa 
revocations for Iranians traveling to the Sharif University of 
Technology Alumni Association reunion in Santa Clara, 
California. Like its nuclear spin, the Iranian government 
portrayed the USG as luring Iran's most educated to the US by 
granting visas only to "humiliate" them for political reasons 
once they arrived. The MPs said the revocations caused 
significant damage to the US's image because the Sharif alumni 
are upper-class, generally hold pro-American views, and either 
have family in the United States or have already spent 
considerable time there. They claimed Iranians now question 
whether to apply for a visa, and professors and intellectuals in 
particular are confused about USG policy. When IRPO Chief said 
USG policy has not changed, the MPs stressed the USG should 
provide that information to the Iranian people over Radio Farda 
and VOA because they have only heard the GOI version of the 
story. 
 
Iran Probably Instigated IDF Kidnappings 
---------------------------------------- 
 
6.(S//NF) Pirmoazen indicated Iran works closely with Hizballah 
and provides significant funding, which he was told by another 
government official equals 100 million dollars (NFI). In his 
view, Hizballah would not have abducted Israel's soldiers 
without Iranian knowledge. He said Iran probably instigated the 
kidnappings.  Motamed claimed roughly half of the Iranian 
population supports Hizballah. 
 
Iranian Interference in Iraq 
---------------------------- 
 
7.(C//NF) Pirmoazen emphasized repeatedly that US success in 
Iraq is critical to dealing successfully with Iran. Cultivating 
a secure, democratic Iraq will help USG credibility and present 
a major problem "for the Mullahs." The Iranian leadership knows 
this, however, and is working to make certain the US does not 
succeed. Pirmoazen said he met former President Khatami in 2003. 
Khatami told him Iran's Security Council produced four plans for 
the Iraq war. First, don't let the US attack Iraq. Second, if 
the US attacks, make sure the attack fails. Third, if America 
unseats Saddam, do not let it install a stable government. 
Fourth, if the US sets up a government, ensure it is 
pro-Iranian. Pirmoazen claims Iran provides ample support to 
elements in Iraq to make sure they realize these goals (NFI). 
 
Regime Change in Iran 
--------------------- 
 
8.(S//NF) The current situation in Iraq has colored Pirmoazen's 
attitude toward regime change in Iran. He said before the Iraq 
war he did not oppose US military action against the Iranian 
government, but after US difficulties in Iraq he favors internal 
change.  He said many young Iranians are pro-American and do not 
like the regime. These people suffer from unemployment, high 
inflation, and are resentful the government has not kept its 
promises to improve economic conditions. Pirmoazen believes the 
key to unseating the regime lies with young Iranians and he 
already sees Ahmadinejad's popularity decreasing. 
 
Most Iranians Want Better Relations With the US 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
 
9.(C//NF) The MPs highlighted the Iranian people's generally 
favorable view of the US. Bet Kolia said Iranians viewed 
positively proposed US-Iranian talks this past Spring, and he 
believes most want to resume diplomatic relations. He claimed a 
few government officials have asked him to broach the subject 
via the Assyrian lobby in the US, and specifically through a 
Congressional representative. A minority of unnamed hardliners, 
however, still do not want to negotiate. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
10.(C) The MPs suggest the best US asset within Iran is its 
reputation with the Iranian people. The MPs indicated that when 
an issue involving the US arises they listen to Radio Farda and 
VOA, which they view favorably, for the USG perspective. With 
regard to the nuclear issue and visa revocations, however, the 
MPs believe the USG has not provided simple information in a 
 
DUBAI 00005191  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
timely fashion to explain its policies or rebut Iranian 
government propaganda. Cultivating Farsi speakers who 
consistently appear on Radio Farda and VOA -- and perhaps 
establishing an Alhurra-like television station -- appear to be 
reliable methods to ensure USG policies are accurately 
communicated to the Iranian people. 
BRYS

 



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