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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Nie Report On Iran

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P 050328Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7249
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 005450

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR I/RF, PA/PR/FPC/W, IIP/G/EA, EAP/PD, R/MR,
EAP/J, EAP/P, PM;
USTR FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
TREASURY FOR OASIA/IMI;
SECDEF FOR OASD/PA;
CP BUTLER OKINAWA FOR AREA FIELD OFFICE;
PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO JA
SUBJECT: TOKYO MEDIA REACTION - NIE REPORT ON IRAN


LEAD STORIES: Most Wednesday papers gave top play to
the results of an OECD survey showing that Japanese
high school students ranked lower than before in
science, reading, and math.

1. "U.S. Urged to Make Strategic Adjustments to
Approach to Iran" The liberal Mainichi's report from
Washington said (12/5): "Following the revelation on
Monday that this year's National Intelligence Estimate
(NIE) concluded that Iran halted its nuclear-weapons
program in 2003, the Bush administration is likely to
be pressed to make adjustments to its strategy of
isolating Iran.... The assessment, which downplayed the
nuclear threat posed by Iran, comes on the heels of the
failure by U.S. intelligence authorities to locate WMD
in Iraq. President Bush warned at a press conference in
October that Tehran's possession of nuclear arms could
lead to a third world war. The credibility of his
approach will likely be called into question now."

2. "NIE Report to Affect U.S. Policy" A Washington
correspondent for the moderate-conservative Yomiuri
wrote (12/5): "The NIE report concluding that Iran
halted its nuclear-weapons program in 2003 has dealt a
severe blow to the Bush administration, which has set a
goal of preventing Tehran from developing nuclear arms.
Washington's policy of refusing to talk with Tehran and
instead applying pressure will likely be the subject of
both domestic and foreign criticism in the future."

3. "Possibility of Action Against Iran Declines" The
conservative Sankei's dispatch from Washington stated
(12/5): "U.S. intelligence authorities have concluded
that Iran halted its nuclear-weapons program in 2003,
revising its earlier assessment that Tehran has been
continuing that program. Although President Bush called
for continued pressure on Tehran during his press
conference on Tuesday by saying that Iran was, is, and
will be dangerous, Washington appears to have lost the
option of using force against Tehran."


SCHIEFFER

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