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Cablegate: Media Reaction; United Nations General Assembly and Iran;

VZCZCXYZ0007
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #1933/01 2701031
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 271031Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9364
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
RULGPUA/USCOMSOLANT

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001933

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; UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND IRAN;
09/26/07

1. SUMMARY STATEMENT

Key international stories today include the political implications
of Argentine President Nstor Kirchner's address to the UNGA, in
which he urged the UN to persuade Iran to cooperate with a judicial
probe into the 1994 bombing of the AMIA in Buenos Aires; and
similarities between US President George W. Bush and Iranian
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS

- "Lastly, tough and unmistakable words appear"

Joaqun Morales Sol, political columnist of daily-of-record "La
Nacisn," opines (09/26) "(Argentina's) confrontation with Iran has
two dimensions - a judicial and a political one. By using tough and
unmistakable words, Nstor Kirchner sided with the Argentine
judiciary against the Iranian ayatollah regime...

"For the first time on the major world political stage, the
Argentine President asked the insane Ahmadinejad administration to
deliver the former Iranian government officials that have been
summoned by Argentine judges in the AMIA bombing investigation...

"... Kirchner's unresolved conflict is that there is also a
political dimension to the Argentine-Iranian dispute. Every
Argentine Government, from Menem to Kirchner, received information
from local and foreign intelligence services that Iranian government
officials took part in the attack against the AMIA. Did they do it
on their own or did they execute a criminal act that had been
masterminded by the Tehran government? The question, which has never
been answered, is particularly important. It is the difference
between regular criminals and a criminal State. If the latter was
the case, the attack against the AMIA would have been an attack from
a foreign government against Argentina.

"Some in Argentina believe that putting pressure on Iran now is the
same as supporting Bush. Those are the ones who always wonder where
Washington is in order to position themselves on the other side. To
define this dilemma, one reflection is enough - the Iranian nuclear
program is highly dangerous for world peace, but it is the
international community which should put the eccentric Iranian
president at bay. Nothing like the war in Iraq should be allowed
again because it disregarded international control procedures and
ended up in the current disaster.

"... However, the time has come for Kirchner to put an end to the
cautious circumlocutions he used to speak about the Ahmadinejad
administration.

"After all, a president who denies the Holocaust and threatens the
world with nuclear weapons does not deserve such thoughtful
treatment."

- "Kirchner's unusual toughness against Iran distances him from his
allies"

Ignacio Zuleta, on special assignment in New York for
business-financial "Ambito Financiero," writes (09/26) "With an
unusually tough address..., Argentina has put an end to its support
for the axis of evil... In the framework of the UN General Assembly,
Nstor Kirchner denounced the Iranian government for not cooperating
with the AMIA judicial probe... He also urged the UN to intercede
with Iran to allow the judicial request to go forward...

"... Kirchner's strong, calculated and somewhat risky message was
surprising because his position against Iran is a risky one both for
the country and for himself... As time goes by, his decision will
pass into history as one of the most important decisions made by an
outgoing government. The victims of both attacks have truly earned
this as well as the country, which has been exposed too often to
dismissive attitudes from government officials on serious topics."

- "Revolutionary leaders"

Marcelo Cantelmi, international editor of leading "Clarn," opines
(09/26) " US rage against the Iranian president hides... the real
focus of the discussion. At least on the surface, Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad is in line with some orthodox practice which the US
should already be used to. He is a conservative (neo-conservative?)
political leader with some tenacious and sometimes absurd religious
mystique that is harassed by a domestic moderate movement from which
he can only escape by emphasizing a clash with a threatening enemy.
This is a game that his archenemy, W. Bush, knows very well and has
also played with some luck. Yesterday Bush preferred to use Fidel to
practice his rhetoric. However, the central issue is not their
shared features. These kinds of leaders imply involution.


"Ahmadinejad is on the verge of defending Hitler and fascism... He
is not a revolutionary leader but part of the worst part of a system
in which change means failure for both extremes of the world. The
serious thing is that he is not the only one - on this current stage
the dances are quite similar, the only difference is rhythm. This is
the worst thing of all."

- "If the US does not invade Iran within 24 hours..."

Left-of-center "Pgina 12" carries an opinion piece by writer
Ernesto Seman, who writes (09/26) "If the US does not bomb Iran
within 24 hours, Nstor Kirchner will be able to continue with the
rest of his agenda in peace, knowing that his accusation yesterday
was not the centerpiece of someone else's mission. In fact,
Kirchner's claims were just side claims in the flow of claims,
threats and demands that Ahmadinejad received in New York...

"Kirchner's remarks on Iran supported the warning made by French
President Nicolas Sarkozy, who said that the Iranian nuclear program
poses 'an unacceptable risk to the world and the region,' and German
FM Angela Merkel's claim that Iran 'should show the world that it
does not have nuclear weapons.' Lula let Brazil... continue its
smooth relationship with the Middle East by not mentioning Iran,
something remarkable for those who believe that a common security
policy should be a priority for Mercosur.

"Ahmadinejad, who spoke right after Kirchner, disregarded the
Argentine claim and about the rest he said he believed that the
nuclear issue is 'a closed issue.'

"... The US president included Iran in a much broader group of
'brutal regimes' along with Bielo-Russia, Cuba, North Korea, Syria
and Zimbabwe... It's something like a Hexagon of Evil, which
replaces the former Axis of Evil, not so much because the Evil has
spread around the world but because the broad size of the target is
inverse to the efficiency in solving the problem..."

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

WAYNE

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