Cablegate: Media Reaction; Uk-Iran; Situation in Iran; 03/28/07;
DE RUEHBU #0606 0881433
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 291433Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7685
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000606
STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL MEDIA REACTION
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION; UK-IRAN; SITUATION IN IRAN; 03/28/07;
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Today's key international stories are related to the dispute between
the UK and Iran over the seizure of 15 British Naval personnel; and
the situation in Iran given that the world is "on the verge of a new
military confrontation in the (Persian) Gulf."
2. OPINION PIECES
- "A risky area"
Claudio Mario Aliscioni, international columnist of leading
"Clarin," penned (03/28) "It is too soon to determine whether the
world is on the verge of a new military confrontation in the
"According to a Zogby Institute opinion poll, most people in the US,
as well as most of the business establishment and the media, do not
believe that an attack against Iran is necessary. However, Iranians
are also making maneuvers with their ships in the area. And this is
why it is hard to dismiss an 'involuntary' incident that could
unexpectedly offer fundamentalists from both sides an excuse for an
- "London's limited options"
Graciela Iglesias, London-based correspondent for daily-of-record
"La Nacion," comments (03/28) "UK PM Tony Blair's warning that his
government is ready to move on to 'another stage' in the event Iran
does not release the 15 UK marines recalled the specter of an
escalation in a crisis that could lead to war.
"The impact of his warning on the Middle East remains uncertain, but
obviously his tacit threat of force is one more move in the fewer UK
options in the framework of the dangerous diplomatic game in which
it is involuntarily merged with Tehran.
"Regardless of the fact that the prevailing tension does not signal
any kind of commitment, UK authorities still bet on a discreetly
negotiated solution. German FM Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who
volunteered to act as a mediator, could play a crucial role in the
"... The most drastic option for the UK Government, aside from
declaring war, is cutting diplomatic ties through the closure of its
embassy in Tehran and expulsing the Iranian representative in
London. Nevertheless, this would deprive the Foreign Office from
direct information lines, which do matter in handling a crisis like
"For the time being, London impatiently expects Tehran to provide
some wink about the situation of those who were apprehended and to
reveal what it expects in return for their release.
"They believe that some in the Iranian Government would be inclined
to put an end to the crisis through a prisoner exchange. Tehran has
expressed more than once its irritation over the arrest by US forces
of five members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard...
"However, this move would depend on Washington's willingness, and
many in the White House are likely to advise against it under the
argument that every concession granted to Tehran could encourage it
to repeat similar actions in the future in order to obtain 'bigger
compensation,' such as the lifting of economic sanctions.
"... The last possibility left to the UK Government is launching an
'ultimatum' and setting a deadline for the release of its prisoners
under the threat of retaliation. Nonetheless, the Ahmadinejad regime
has given signs that it does not lend much attention to deadlines
imposed by international organizations."
To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
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