WikiLeaks: Iranian hard-liners blocked nuclear deal

Internal opponents viewed Ahmadinejad's fuel swap deal as "virtual defeat," leaked US cable reveals.

January 4, 2011 17:00
2 minute read.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Ahmadinejad wants YOU 311 AP. (photo credit: AP)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sought some kind of nuclear fuel swap deal more than a year ago, but faced internal pressures from hard-liners who viewed it as a "virtual defeat," according to US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.

The report, available on the

In late 2009, Davutoglu told visiting Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon that Iran's government was willing to work out some kind of fuel swap arrangement, but Ahmadinejad was facing "huge pressures" at home, according to the secret memo.

Davutoglu was quoted as saying that the proposal deal was "interpreted by some circles in Iran as a virtual defeat" by Western pressures.

The cable said Turkish officials had asked Ahmadinejad "if the core of the issue is psychological rather than substance."

"Ahmadinejad had said 'yes,' that the Iranians agree to the proposal but need to manage the public perception," the message said, adding that Turkish officials consider Ahmadinejad as "more flexible than others who are inside the Iranian government."

It also noted that it appears the Iranians have "more trust" in the US envoys than British negotiators and "the Iranians would also prefer to get fuel from the US rather than the Russians."

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