Cable en el que el Gobierno revela que Israel le ha pedido que investigue la conexión con Irán de algunas empresas españolas

ID:189707
Date:2009-01-30 16:23:00
Origin:09MADRID108
Source:Embassy Madrid
Classification:SECRET
Dunno:08MADRID1227 08MADRID836 09MADRID87 09MADRID88
Destination:VZCZCXRO9447
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHFL RUEHKUK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV
DE RUEHMD #0108/01 0301623
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 301623Z JAN 09
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0148
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE
RUCNNSG/NUCLEAR SUPPLIERS GROUP COLLECTIVE
RUCNWSN/THE WASSENAAR ARRANGEMENT COLLECTIVE
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0647
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 2433
RUEHLA/AMCONSUL BARCELONA 3781
RUEHFT/AMCONSUL FRANKFURT 2740
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 0632
RUEHMZ/AMCONSUL MUNICH 0798
RUCNFB/FBI WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEILB/NCTC WASHINGTON DC

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 MADRID 000108

SIPDIS

STATE FOR ISN/MTR
ALSO FOR EUR/WE, EUR/PRA, EEB/TFS, EEB/TFS, INR (JBELL),
NEA, ISN/RA (RNEPHEW)
TREASURY FOR DFERNANDEZ

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/30/2034
TAGS: MTCRE, PARM, PREL, ETTC, MNUC, TSPA, SP, IR, AINR
SUBJECT: SPAIN: MFA REQUESTS USG REVIEW OF TWO IRAN-RELATED
ISSUES

REF: A. (A) MADRID 88
B. (B) MADRID 87
C. (C) 08 MADRID 1227
D. (D) 08 MADRID 836

MADRID 00000108 001.2 OF 002


Classified By: A/DCM William Duncan for reasons 1.4 (b), (c) and (d)

SUMMARY AND ACTION REQUEST
--------------------------

1. (S) This is an Action Request. See paragraph 8.

2. (S) On January 26, POLOFF and Deputy ECON Counselor met
Carlos Torres, Counselor for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and
Disarmament in the MFA,s Directorate General for Strategic
Affairs & Terrorism (See REFS A and B), who unexpectedly
raised two Iran-related issues that the GOS would like the
USG to investigate. He said the GOS wanted to flag these
items for the USG's attention and said that the GOS would
appreciate any information the USG could provide on either
topic, which Torres termed "very sensitive matters." END
SUMMARY.

SCHMIDT-CLEMENS SPAIN
---------------------

3. (S) Torres broached the first issue by explaining that the
German Minister of Commerce had called in the Spanish
Ambassador to Berlin to discuss the issue of a Spanish
affiliate of a German steel company that is manufacturing and
exporting tubes to Iran. The company in question is
Schmidt-Clemens Spain (hereafter S-CS), based in Spain's
Navarra region. (COMMENT: S-CS's English language website is
http://www.centracero.com. It is not clear to Embassy
officials how Berlin learned of this issue or in what context
or toward what end the German minister raised the issue with
the Spanish Ambassador. END COMMENT.) Torres indicated that
although these types of tubes are not on the GOS Chapter 1
list for restricted dual-use items, the GOS is very worried
about this export to Iran. Specifically, the GOS has no
objection to the beginning and the end of the tubes, but the
GOS believes that the mid-section of the tube makes it a
potential dual-use item.

4. (S) Torres said that, although there is a legal precedent
in Spain for exporting the types of tubes that S-CS is
selling, the GOS convened its inter-ministerial board that
reviews export license requests for possible dual-use
technology items. According to Torres, in that meeting the
Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce did not object to
the export of these particular tubes to Iran, but both the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Intelligence
Center (CNI) did protest. The exports are at this point
considered legal, however, the GOS is "blocking" further
exports of these tubes to Iran by S-CS by conducting a
lengthy bureaucratic review which essentially is freezing the
process.

5. (S) Although he would not provide the Embassy officers a
photocopy of documentation on the subject, Torres briefly
showed them what they understood to be a copy of S-CS's
application for an export license from the GOS. The
documentation listed the export product (in English) as
"catalyst tube assemblies" and included the specifications
that the tubes were constructed of "material G4879," and
included the following compositional breakdown:
"Cr28%Ni48%W5%." (COMMENT: Embassy Madrid understands this
to mean 28 percent chrome, 48 percent nickel and 5 percent
tungsten, and acknowledges that the sum of these percentages
does not equal 100 percent. END COMMENT.) The recipient and
end user of S-CS's exported goods to Iran were listed as:

Chaharmahal VA Bakhitiati Steel Complex Project
KM 35 of Shahr E Kord - Broojen Road

MADRID 00000108 002.2 OF 002


Bakhtiari, Iran

6. (S) Torres noted that Spanish exports to Iran are on the
increase while German exports to Iran are decreasing. He also
conveyed the impression to Embassy officers that the GOS was
upset with German companies over this issue and felt used.
Torres wondered if cases such as S-CS - in which the Spanish
subsidiary of a German company skirts German regulatory
oversight by manufacturing and exporting its products from
Spain - might help to explain that export trend.
POSSIBLY PROBLEMATIC FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS
-------------------------------------------

7. (S) Turning to a separate but also Iran-related subject,
Torres raised a second item. He said the Israeli government
had called in the Spanish Ambassador to Tel Aviv to discuss
the possibility that some Spanish banks may be involved in
transactions that ultimately have an Iranian connection.
Torres said he did not know the source of Israel's
information but intimated that it was possible that Spanish
banks may be unknowingly involved in these indirect
transactions with Iran. He emphasized that this too is a
sensitive matter for the GOS and pointed out that the GOS did
not have authority from Spanish banks to share this
information with the USG. Nevertheless, without offering any
details, Torres cited a case in which Banco Santander of
Spain may be involved in indirect transactions with Bank
Melli of Iran. (NOTE: Banco Santander is Spain's biggest
bank. On October 25, 2007, the USG designated Bank Melli,
Iran's third-largest bank, as a vehicle controlled by the
Iranian Government which provides banking services to Iran's
nuclear and ballistic missile programs and to terrorist
organizations. Citing proliferation concerns, UNSCR 1803
specifically calls on states to exercise vigilance over their
banks, activities with Bank Melli. END NOTE.)

8. (S) Action Request: Recognizing that the GOS has provided
little concrete information to work with in the second case,
Post would appreciate any information and insights Washington
agencies may have on either matter raised by Torres, that we
can share with the GOS. End Action Request.

COMMENT
-------

9. (S) Last July, the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Spain
told visiting Treasury U/S Levey (REF D) that Banco Santander
had ceased Iran-related activities. Spanish officials have
told us subsequently (REF C) that Spanish banks, concerned
about designations and sanctions, have sharply reduced
interactions with Iranian financial institutions. We tend to
share Torres,s opinion that if Santander or other Spanish
banks recently participated in transactions with an indirect
connection to Iran, they likely did so unknowingly. At the
same time, the reported action in the inter-ministerial board
on the S-CS application and the MFA,s willingness to share
with us the information on S-CS and the financial
transactions are signs that the GOS takes its
responsibilities seriously and wants to work with us on
Iran-related matters. END COMMENT.
CHACON
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