New York Times reported on Wednesday that hackers infiltrated the European Union’s diplomatic communications network for years, downloading thousands of cables that reveal concerns about an unpredictable Trump administration and struggles to deal with Russia and China. Yet, some of the content also touched issues related to Iran.
One of the cables was about an official visit of the president of the Republic of Cyprus to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in January 2018.
Reporting about the contents of the meeting, the cables said that the ongoing (January) economic demonstrations in Iran were precisely pursued by the Saudis.
“Regarding the ongoing demonstrations in Iran, the Saudis consider that the government will manage to absorb, one way or another, the shocks from the demonstrations and that regime change is not likely. Eventually though, the solution will come from within the country. The international community should stand behind the demonstrators.”
Among the cables were also contents of an unofficial meeting among the EU foreign ministers, headed by Mogherini, in Amsterdam on February 5 and 6, 2016, in which requests for the further expansion of ties with Iran were raised.
“The HR (Mogherini) opened the debate recalling that Implementation Day of the Nuclear agreement on 16 January had also given way to a totally new phase in relations with Iran. This was an important opportunity to reflect together informally on the prospects for relations with the country, which presented the EU and MS with a multi-dimensional challenge.”
“The MS which had actively taken part in the negotiations also offered a comprehensive view of this challenge, also referring to very recent contacts with FM Zarif, and President Rohani,” it added.
“Capitalizing on the achievements of the nuclear agreement (a multilateral diplomacy that works) implied a renewed political engagement with Teheran, starting with the regional crises where the role of Iran was both essential and not necessarily ill-oriented, such as Afghanistan; Iraq and Syria. Opening an EU Delegation in Tehran would help (the HR reassured that the credits were already foreseen in the 2016 budget).”
“Iran …could become an important economic and political interlocutor for the EU, particularly on regional matters. Political dialogue was going to be re-launched soon at PD level. Then, following a visit by FM Zarif to Brussels in February, several Commissioners would travel to Tehran to assess the scope for bilateral cooperation.”
The cables have also reported about a meeting between Slovakia and Israel in Jerusalem on June 12, 2018.
During the meeting, the Israeli side “called for Iran to be defeated but not to be destroyed.”
It claimed that “through the JCPOA, Iran has obtained funds for its activities in the region (Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen)”, adding, “This is the very reason why Iran remains a party to nuclear deal. The JCPOA, as outlined by Israel, is practically a dead agreement. European solutions – applying certain exemptions from sanction regimes – will not work. Escalations of steps invoked by Iranian side is expected in the coming months.”
“Making reference to Iran’s weakening position in Yemen and Iraq, Israel considers the current state of play in the country as very vulnerable. Negative economic situation will have impact on domestic stability. With growing disillusionment in the society anti-regime demonstrations appear more frequently,” the cable said about the contents of the meeting.
Another cable is about a meeting between Chinese Prime Minister Xi Jinping (XJP) and President of the European Council Donald Tusk (DT) in Beijing on July 2018.
“On Iran, asked whether CN (China) would consider financial mechanisms to mitigate secondary sanctions. PM Li said that China would not act unilaterally. LKQ (Li Keqiang, the current Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China) noted the need to uphold the JCPOA, recalling that FM/SC Wang Yi attended the first Ministerial level Joint Commission meeting after US withdrawal in Vienna on 6 July. The EU, as coordinator of the JCPOA, played an important role. There was a need to uphold the JCPOA – through closer coordination – persuading the US in order to bring home to them what would be the result of international sanctions. At the same time, there was a need to convince the Iranians to be restrained.”
“Longarm jurisdiction by the US would harm the interests of many companies. China, which wanted the full implementation of the JCPOA, would abide by the rules and did not want to take (commercial) advantage. China looked to the EU for the protection of its interests,” it concluded.