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US Lobbied With Pachauri To Prevent Appointment Of Iranian

PTI 07 Dec 2010, 17:37:23 IST
Washington, Dec 7: US lobbied with top UN scientist R K Pachauri to prevent appointment of an Iranian scientist to a key position in the Inter-Government Panel on Climate Change, according to a secret American memo leaked by WikiLeaks.

However, Pachauri has denied any such allegations and asserted that he was not influenced by any one during the selection process of the said post, which ultimately went to an Argentinean.

"USDEL (US delegation) is working actively to prevent the election of an Iranian scientist to the developing-nation co-chairmanship of Working Group Two, a position which would pair him with a US scientist running unopposed for developed nation co-chair of the same group," says a confidential State Department memo, dated September 02, 2008.

The United States, which has charged the Wikileaks of indulging in a criminal act by stealing and releasing these cables, has neither confirmed nor denied the authenticity of these documents.

"Prior to arrival in Geneva, USDEL contacted IPCC Chairman Dr Rajendra Pachauri (please protect), who agreed to work on this issue to avoid the potential for disruption to one the organisation, s three core working groups XXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXX," the cable said.

However, in a statement to the United Kingdom-based Guardian newspaper, which was the first to report about this cable, Pachauri rejected any suggestion he had colluded with the US private approaches.

A spokesperson for Pachauri said that he, "neither influenced, nor agreed to influence, the election. Not only would such an agreement be outside his mandate as chairman of the IPCC, but it would also be impossible to achieve," The Guardian reported.

The focus of the United States Government's efforts is to support an alternate candidacy for the position, although the full slate of active candidates and their potential for election will not be known until the later stages of the plenary sessions, the cable said.

That year, the US had nominated Stanford Professor Christopher Field to the developed-country chair of IPCC Working Group Two, which assesses the vulnerability of socio-economic and natural systems to climate change and the options for adaptation. His nomination was unopposed.

The cable said: "Jafari is a highly-qualified scientist with research ties to the UK and Japan, but he is also a senior Iranian government employee who has represented Iran in international negotiations."

"Co-chair appointments are for a minimum of four years, and require close collaboration and often travel to or extended residencies in each others, countries. Having US and Iranian co-chairs would be problematic and potentially at odds with overall US policy towards Iran, and would significantly complicate the US commitment to funding the Working Group Two secretariat," it said.  PTI