Viewing cable 03VATICAN4689

03VATICAN46892003-10-15 05:57:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 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 004689 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/07/2013 
Classified By: Ambassador Jim Nicholson.  Reasons 1.5 (b) and (d). 
¶1. (c) Under Secretary Bolton told Vatican Deputy Foreign 
Minister Parolin that the U.S. was making steady progress in 
Iraq, even though the security situation was not what we 
would like it to be.  Bolton briefed Parolin on the 
President's meeting with Russian President Putin and the 
state of play in UNSC deliberations for a new Iraq 
resolution, emphasizing the U.S. desire to return power to 
the Iraqis as soon as possible.  Parolin raised the Holy 
See's concerns about religious persecution against Christians 
in Iraq, but indicated that they have been encouraged by 
inter-religious developments to date.  U/S Bolton reviewed 
the threat posed by Iranian nuclear development efforts, and 
outlined international efforts to address Iran's nuclear 
program.  On North Korea, Bolton highlighted U.S. willingness 
to take North Korean security concerns into account, but 
expressed disappointment with the lack of progress at the 
last round of talks.  In response to Parolin's questions, 
Bolton reviewed the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) 
as a means of making better use of national legislation and 
law enforcement mechanisms to prevent transfers of WMD. 
Parolin emphasized the Holy See's commitment to multilateral 
arms control, and conveyed his regret that the U.S. was not 
more actively involved in the CTBT.  End Summary. 
Building a Democratic Iraq 
¶2. (c) Under Secretary John Bolton reviewed developments in 
Iraq, Iran, and North Korea with Holy See' Deputy Foreign 
Minister Pietro Parolin October 1, emphasizing U.S. 
determination to address threats to international security 
posed by outlaw states' possession of WMD.  Bolton told 
Parolin that this had been one of the major topics of 
discussion between President Bush and President Putin at 
their September 27 summit.  On Iraq, the Under Secretary 
emphasized that the U.S. and Russia had overcome pre-war 
disagreements, and agreed on the importance of building a 
stable, democratic Iraq that would have a positive influence 
on the rest of the region.  Bolton told Parolin that there 
were many welcome developments in Iraq, such as the opening 
of Iraq's refurbished schools with new textbooks and the 
training of 50,000 Iraqi police and military.  Parolin 
indicated that the Vatican's nuncio in Iraq generally shared 
this positive perception, despite continuing concerns over 
security in some areas.  Bolton acknowledged that the 
security situation was "not what we would like," largely as a 
result of the actions of Saddam holdovers and other terrorist 
elements attracted to Iraq. 
¶3. (c) Addressing broader international engagement in Iraq, 
Bolton conveyed "reasonable confidence" that there would be a 
new UNSC resolution.  He pointed out that the President had 
also met with Chancellor Schroeder and President Chirac, that 
the P-5 and G-8 had met, and that there appeared to be a 
convergence on how to get a resolution done.  Contrary to 
perceptions of acting alone, Bolton noted that troops from 
over 30 countries were on the ground in Iraq, and that, 
although the U.S. role is predominant, there was considerable 
international support.  Bolton also sought to counter the 
misimpression that the U.S. was looking to hold onto power in 
Iraq, observing that "nobody will be happier than the U.S. to 
return power to the Iraqi people."  The worst outcome, he 
cautioned, would be a bad transition that resulted in an 
unstable and fragmented Iraq. 
¶4. (c)  Parolin asked Bolton for his assessment of the timing 
of a transfer to Iraqi sovereignty and authority.  Bolton 
recalled the Secretary's recent assessment that it would take 
six months to prepare a constitution, but noted that some in 
Iraq have insisted it will take at least a year to reach that 
stage.  This was not a matter of bad faith on their part, but 
simply that a whole new political culture had to take root 
and big decisions had to be made that would affect Iraqi 
society for years to come.  The U.S. did not accept that this 
would take a year, but we appreciated the importance of 
getting it right.  In this context, Bolton observed that 
France's desire to transfer sovereignty without authority 
created a potential for confusion of roles and potential 
conflict that was unacceptable. 
Concerns for Religious Minorities 
¶5. (c) Reiterating that the Vatican nuncio's impression of 
the situation in Iraq was generally positive, Parolin asked 
Bolton for his assessment of the situation for religious 
minorities in light of some recent evidence of religious 
intolerance in the south.  The Under Secretary observed that 
cooperation between religious groups has been good, and that 
the risk of fragmentation has been greatly reduced.  While 
there are still elements in the south that would like to see 
an Islamic republic under Sharia law, this represents only 
about one-third of the Shiites or 20 percent of the total 
population.  Bolton assured Parolin that the U.S. was 
committed to building an Iraq in which freedom of religion 
was respected.  Parolin observed that some Christian shops 
that served alcohol had been burned.  Bolton pledged to call 
any incidents of suspected intolerance to Washington's 
attention, and urged the Holy See's nuncio to relay 
information about such incidents to the Coalition Provisional 
Authority.  Both agreed that it would be better to deal with 
these problems early before they became regular occurrences. 
Parolin observed that the Holy See had been encouraged by 
some statements of a leading Ayatollah in favor of democracy, 
but noted that these "are just words, and we need to see what 
happens in reality."  Bolton noted that some Iranian mullahs 
continued to stir up problems in the south. 
Iran's Nuclear Threat 
¶6. (c) The greater threat from Iran, Bolton then noted, comes 
from Iranian efforts to develop a nuclear capability, which 
the President and President Putin had also discussed at Camp 
David.  Bolton said Russia had agreed not to ship nuclear 
fuel to Iran, and that President Putin appreciated the 
dangers posed by a nuclear Iran, even while some in the 
Russian government and industry continued to cause problems. 
Bolton observed that there appeared to be a debate in Iran 
about whether to sign the IAEA additional protocol, but, 
unfortunately, no debate about whether to have nuclear 
weapons.  The U.S. view, he told Parolin, was that Iran not 
only had to cooperate with IAEA inspections, but also to 
refrain from enriching uranium.  The looming problem was that 
once the new reactor was operational, even if it operated 
under IAEA safeguards, it would have enough fuel in its cycle 
to make 80 nuclear weapons.  It was clear to the U.S. that 
Iran's intention was to gain national control over the full 
nuclear production cycle. 
¶7. (c) In response to Iran's nuclear ambitions and reluctant 
cooperation with the IAEA, the U.S. had decided to refer the 
issue to the UNSC in order to demonstrate international 
concern and seek a UNSC president's Statement urging Iran to 
cooperate.  Parolin noted that he understood that Iran had 
agreed to accept IAEA inspections, but U/S Bolton pointed out 
that although Iran says it will cooperate, it continues to 
delay and deny access - as occurred recently at an Iranian 
electrical facility.  Emphasizing that Iran was engaged in "a 
campaign of deception," Bolton noted that IAEA Head El 
Baradei had warned Iran that if it did not cooperate 
immediately, it could not meet the October 31 IAEA deadline. 
North Korea: Little Progress 
¶8. (c) Turning to the North Korean nuclear threat, U/S Bolton 
stressed the U.S. desire to address this threat by diplomatic 
means.  Unfortunately, the outcome of the recent talks in 
Beijing was "not that positive."  Parolin recalled that all 
parties had agreed that the region should be free of nuclear 
weapons, and suggested that this offered a positive point of 
departure.  U/S Bolton explained that the only real outcome 
at the talks had been the agreement to meet again in two 
months, but that it now appeared that even this would not 
happen on schedule as North Korea had indicated it would not 
be ready to meet at that time.  He pointed out that a 
high-level Chinese visit to North Korea had been canceled out 
of concern that the North Koreans would rebuff the Chinese 
appeal for cooperation. 
¶9. (c) Parolin asked Bolton about the degree of U.S. 
willingness to take North Korea's security concerns into 
account.  Bolton indicated that the U.S. has discussed some 
form of security assurances, which could be put in writing, 
though not in the form of a treaty.  Bolton pointed out that 
the U.S. had been prepared to put this on the table and would 
be prepared to do so at the appropriate time in the future. 
Parolin reiterated the Holy See's desire that this problem be 
resolved through dialogue. 
Proliferation Security Initiative 
¶10. (c) Parolin said he had reviewed carefully the 
information provided by the Embassy on the Proliferation 
Security Initiative (PSI), and queried whether it was being 
applied only to North Korea.  U/S Bolton observed that North 
Korea earns hard currency from its weapons sales, which it 
uses to develop its own weapons programs.  The U.S., Bolton 
said, believes an increase in the level of interdiction of 
shipments going in and out of North Korea would enhance 
security in regions where they are sold as well as in the 
Korean peninsula.  Asked to compare the PSI to a naval 
blockade, U/S Bolton explained that the initiative was 
broader, seeking to build on existing export control 
mechanisms aimed at prohibiting exports of weapons-related 
materials.  President Bush has called on other countries to 
criminalize the export of items related to WMD, which up to 
now has been a legal gap in many countries domestic 
legislation.  The goal, he stressed, is to make it harder for 
states to participate in such trade.   Asked about the 
relationship between PSI and broader multilateral arms 
control bodies such as the Wassenaar Group and OPCW, Bolton 
explained that PSI aimed to fill a gap in these existing 
mechanisms by creating some form of enforcement mechanism, 
not to supplant them.  Noting that there are some areas where 
international authorities are unclear, Bolton suggested that 
there could be an evolution in international law on the 
suppression of unlawful acts at sea through state practice. 
Multilateral Arms Control 
¶11. (c) As the meeting drew to a close, DFM Parolin expressed 
his surprise when he discovered at a recent CTBT conference 
in Vienna that the U.S. "was not there."  U/S Bolton noted 
that the U.S. had been present a low level only, as a result 
of our decision not to ratify the CTBT.  Nevertheless, Bolton 
pointed out, the President's moratorium on nuclear testing 
remains in place.  In this context, Parolin observed that the 
Holy See was "worried" about the problem of international 
disarmament and believed that multilateral cooperation was 
essential to meet the threat posed by WMD. U/S Bolton 
responded that the U.S. recognized the importance of 
multilateral arms control, but also recognized that in a 
world where North Korea, Iran, Libya and Syria operated 
outside of such mechanisms in their pursuit of WMD, other 
measures were needed to meet the threat.  "People are 
watching Iran and North Korea," Bolton cautioned, "and if 
they succeed in their pursuit of nuclear weapons, the whole 
NPT framework would be at risk."  Bolton recalled President 
Bush's admonition that the biggest threat to the world today 
is the most dangerous weapons in the hands of the most 
dangerous people.  These are individuals and groups not 
susceptible to deterrence or threats of retaliation, and that 
is the scenario the U.S. is working to prevent.  Parolin 
agreed that weapons in irresponsible hands represented a 
grave danger and must be prevented. 
¶12. (U) Under Secretary Bolton has reviewed this cable. 
¶13. (U) Minimize considered. 

 2003VATICA04689 - Classification: CONFIDENTIAL