ID: 66432    06/02/2006 12:46    06ISLAMABAD10261    Embassy Islamabad    CONFIDENTIAL    06ISLAMABAD10142    "VZCZCXRO6094 PP RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHPW DE RUEHIL #0261 1531246 ZNY CCCCC ZZH P 021246Z JUN 06 FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0369 INFO RUEHTA/AMEMBASSY ALMATY PRIORITY 9470 RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 3287 RUEHAH/AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT PRIORITY 0653 RUEHEK/AMEMBASSY BISHKEK PRIORITY 3662 RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO PRIORITY 0777 RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA PRIORITY 1517 RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE PRIORITY RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 5470 RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU PRIORITY 6576 RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 8553 RUEHNT/AMEMBASSY TASHKENT PRIORITY 1321 RUEHKP/AMCONSUL KARACHI PRIORITY 1265 RUEHLH/AMCONSUL LAHORE PRIORITY 8925 RUEHPW/AMCONSUL PESHAWAR PRIORITY 6776 RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY RHWSMRC/USCINCCENT MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY"    "C O N F I D E N T I A L ISLAMABAD 010261

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/02/2016 TAGS: PK, PREL, PGOV, IR, KNNP SUBJECT: FM KASURI TELLS IRAN “TAKE THE OFFER”

REF: A. ISLAMABAD 10142

B. STATE 87686

Classified By: Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) On June 2, Pakistani Foreign Minister Kasuri told the Ambassador that he had telephoned Iranian Foreign Minister Muttaki the previous day to share Pakistan's assessment that Secretary Rice's May 31 statement on Iran (Ref B) was a positive shift in U.S. policy. Kasuri told Muttaki that, in his view, the Secretary's statement reflected consideration by the U.S. of messages from Washington's European allies and from Muslim countries like Pakistan. The U.S. has met long-standing the Iranian request for direct dialogue, Kasuri continued; as a neighbor, Pakistan strongly advised Iran to seize this new opportunity.

2. (C) Foreign Minister Muttaki thanked Kasuri for his call, but said that the Secretary Rice had spoken in a very negative manner regarding Iran and the country's leadership. This was the same old rhetoric, with nothing new from Washington except for the conditioned offer of direct talks. Iran will not accept these preconditions, Muttaki said, citing the recent NAM statement that there should be no preconditions for negotiations. If the U.S. wants to talk, Muttaki concluded, that's fine -- but if it insists on preconditions, Iran will have to engage the international community diplomatically. (Note: Kasuri offered that he wasn't sure what Muttaki meant by this final remark. End note.)

3. (C) Kasuri responded by noting that Iran had sent the U.S. a 17-page public letter full of negative rhetoric. It was clear, Kasuri said, that this letter was intended to speak to Tehran's domestic constituency; it is just as clear that Secretary Rice was speaking to Washington's. Kasuri again urged Iran to announce an immediate suspension of its enrichment program in order to give dialogue a chance.

4. (C) Muttaki thanked Kasuri again for calling, saying that Iran would take Pakistan's advice into account as it considers the U.S. offer.

5. (C) Comment: Following his read-out of the Muttaki conversation, Kasuri observed that U.S. media analysts are skeptical that the Secretary's statement actually represents an important policy shift, suggesting that the U.S. offer to join the EU's direct talks may be nothing more than a ploy to shift the burden to Tehran. The Ambassador replied that the media is notoriously cynical. Kasuri may be mildly worried that he has gone out on a limb by endorsing the Secretary's statement so vigorously.

CROCKER

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