Airport financing changed St Vincent’s Iran resolution vote, says leaked US cable

Prime Minister Gonsalves (right) and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad . (File photo: SVG UN Mission)

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent — The international airport under construction at Argyle might have affected the way St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) voted on a United Nations Iran resolution in 2009, which condemned violence in Iran and expressed support for the dissidents there.

Further, a diplomatic cable from the US Embassy in Barbados, released by WikiLeaks last week, suggests that the Dr Ralph Gonsalves government will continue to support Iran as long the Tehran is likely to provide financial assistance to the airport project.

SVG has planned to support the resolution but abstained from the vote.

Kingstown established diplomatic relations with Tehran in August 2008 and immediately secured a commitment by Tehran to assist in the construction of the EC$650 million airport.

Gonsalves visited Iran in June 2009 and in the October 26 meeting told American officials that he was displeased with the images of abuse displayed during Iran’s presidential election, the cable said.

The document quoted Gonsalves as saying that his trip to Tehran showed an apparent lack of religious diversity.

“He noted specifically that his desire to learn more about the Bahai community in Iran was met with … the response from Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that, occasionally, the Bahai faith was used as cover for Israeli intelligence officers.”

In a separate meeting, then Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sir Louis Straker reminded the American officials that Kingstown was developing relations with Tehran.

“You know our situation,” the cable quoted Straker as saying, alluding to the Kingstown’s attempts to garner financial support from Iran and other countries for airport construction project.

“This effort to secure funding — which had yet to bear fruit — prompted the [government of SVG] to shift its vote on the substantive Iran resolution from in favour to abstention last year, and Straker’s comment made clear this was not likely to change as long as there was a chance of securing Iranian financial support for the government’s signature project,” the 2009 diplomatic communiqué said.

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  1. DAGG
    August 31, 2011

    Always the same story :

    Caribbean leaders support dictatorships ( like : Iran, Venezuela, Cuba …) in order to get financial assistance in return .
    No scruple, No ethics ; sad !


  2. August 30, 2011

    The only person in the world I dislike is that St. Vincent piece of human waste, and I dislike him because he made a fool out of Pierre Charles, the late, and his administration, Charles, the man who stated ” Dominicans, wear their stupidity on their foreheads, as a badge of honor.”

    We now know that even Charles himself was not exempt those of us who display’s the badge of honor which the late Pierre Charles spoke of.

    The dog is laughing at us, because Vincentian’s will soon have International flights originating on their island!

    Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

    • Anthony P. Ismael
      August 31, 2011

      How did the leader of a Sister Caribbean Island gained so much influence in Dominica’s affairs, that he was able to arrive at such a ridiculous conclusion?
      My teachers at Grammar School always encouraged me to ask questions and evaluate situations and find supporting evidence before arriving at a conclusion. And this was just High School.
      I pray to God that one day, our leaders will approach Dominica’s future with the type of open-minded thinking that it deserves. Hopefully, my prayers will be answered in time.

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