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Cablegate: Media Reaction; Argentine-Iranian Ties; Assistant Secretary

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #1898/01 2670925
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 240925Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9321
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
RULGPUA/USCOMSOLANT

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001898

SIPDIS

STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
WHA/EPSC
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION; ARGENTINE-IRANIAN TIES; ASSISTANT SECRETARY
SHANNON COMMENTS ON CRISTINA KIRCHNER; THE KIRCHNERS TO THE US;
09/21/07


1. SUMMARY STATEMENT

Major international stories today include implications of Argentine
President Nstor Kirchner's decision to include the AMIA issue in
his address to the UN General Assembly; Assistant Secretary Thomas
Shannon's statements about Argentine presidential candidate Cristina
Kirchner; and expectations about Cristina Kirchner's upcoming trip
to the US.

2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS

- "Iran warns Kirchner over his address in the US"

Walter Curia, political columnist of leading "Clarn," writes
(09/21) "The (Argentine) Government's decision to take the AMIA
issue to the UN has placed Argentina on the verge of diplomatic
escalation with Iran. Mohsen Baharvand, Iranian DCM to Buenos Aires
and the highest-rankingrepresentative of the regime in Argentina,
warned that in the event President Nstor Kirchner denounced Iran at
the UN, many countries could interpret that Argentina is favors
war.'

"... Kirchner will travel to New York this weekend in order to
deliver his last address as chair to the 62nd UN General Assembly.
His message will convey a commitment he assumed with the Argentina's
main Jewish organizations last July on the 13th anniversary of the
attack against the AMIA - questioning Iran for lack of cooperation
in the attack probe.

"... The UN Assembly will take place while there is the specter of
another war in the Persian Gulf in the form of a US massive attack
against the Iranian military complex.

"Argentina and Kirchner himself appear unexpectedly involved in this
sensitive scenario.

"... While Baharvand denied his country is refusing to cooperate in
the investigation of the attack..., the Argentine Judiciary believes
Iran has not been cooperative...

"Baharvand also accused the Argentina's main Jewish organizations
(DAIA and AMIA) of 'blackmailing' the (Argentine) Government and
establishing unofficial diplomacy' that has damaged the
(Argentine-Iranian) bilateral relationship."

- "A narrow corridor"

Fernando Gonzlez, political columnist of leading "Clarn,"
highlights (09/21) "Many unexpected things have happened to the
(Argentine) Government during the current presidential campaign.
However, none of them has had the impact that could be set off by a
complaint at the UN from (President) Nstor Kirchner on Iran
regarding AMIA . The President will have to walk a too narrow and
complicated political corridor in order to fulfill his promises to
relatives of the victims of the attack while avoiding retaliation
from Iran, a country which is currently the 'hottest site' in terms
of global tensions."

- "US praise before the summit"

Leandro Ura, on special assignment in Miami for daily-of-record "La
Nacisn," comments (09/21) "US Assistant Secretary for Western
Hemisphere Affairs Tom Shannon said yesterday that he considers
Senator Cristina Kirchner a highly capable political leader' and
that the US is willing to work with 'any candidate that gets elected
by the Argentine people in the upcoming October presidential
elections.'

"After having lectured as a keynote speaker at the 11th Annual
Conference for the Americas..., Shannon told 'La Nacisn': 'Our ties
to Argentina are friendly and important for the US. We fully respect
the will of the Argentine people and are willing to work along with
the leaders elected by them.'

"It is a real signal before the Kirchners' trip to the US in order
to attend the UN Annual General Assembly...

"Shannon defined the current US-Argentine relationship as 'good,
very fruitful and productive.'

"On the other hand, Cristina Kirchner met with US Ambassador Earl
Anthony Wayne in Buenos Aires and they discussed, among other
issues, foreign investment and her schedule of activities while in
New York next week."

- "Cristina will play a leading role in the US"

Leading "Clarn" carries an op-ed piece by Marcelo Bonelli, economic
columnist, who comments (09/21) "During the next two weeks, Cristina
Kirchner, the official (presidential) candidate, will convey even
stronger signals to the business world.

"She will not only lecture at the Council of the Americas, but she
will also hold private meetings with US economic authorities and she
could also hold an informal meeting with IMF and WB
representatives.

"Next week, she will hold a private meeting with legendary banker
William Rhodes, VP, Citicorp..., who will convey to the senator the
international bankers' concerns - whether the Government will make
the necessary adjustments to fight the energy crisis and tame
inflation, and he will also talk about Paris Club debt and
(Argentina's) pending debt to holdouts.

"However, Cristina Kirchner's most important meeting will be next
Friday with the head of the powerful New York Federal Reserve,
Timothy Geithner... President Nstor Kirchner will not attend the
meeting. In other words, the President will cede the economic
leading role to Senator Cristina Kirchner...

"That meeting will be held based on some premises - US bankers and
businessmen take for granted Cristina Kirchner's triumph in upcoming
presidential elections...; they believe this victory could guarantee
stable governance in Argentina, even when they have many doubts
about the Government's future orientation...

"Nevertheless, businessmen will pose their multiple questions about
Cristina's future management of the economy. Influenced by IMF and
Wall Street banks' confidential reports, US businessmen insist that
Argentina's macroeconomic policy is inconsistent and that this is
reflected in increasing inflation.

"In other words, they want to know how Argentina will really fight
incipient price increases and whether fiscal adjustment will be made
to consolidate the currently small surplus.

"Additionally, they want to know whether a future government of the
senator would take measures aimed at putting markets on a sound
track, such as gradually unfreezing public utility rates."

To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
classified website at:
http://www.state.sqov.gov/p/wha/buenosaires

WAYNE

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