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Cablegate: Media Reaction Report - Iran: Eu-3 Talks, Nuclear

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 003540

SIPDIS


DEPT FOR INR/R/MR; IIP/RW; IIP/RNY; BBG/VOA; IIP/WEU; AF/PA;
EUR/WE /P/SP; D/C (MCCOO); EUR/PA; INR/P; INR/EUC; PM; OSC ISA
FOR ILN; NEA; WHITE HOUSE FOR NSC/WEUROPE; DOC FOR ITA/EUR/FR
AND PASS USTR/PA; USINCEUR FOR PAO; NATO/PA; MOSCOW/PA;
ROME/PA; USVIENNA FOR USDEL OSCE.

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR FR
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION REPORT - IRAN: EU-3 TALKS, NUCLEAR
PROGRAM
PARIS - TUESDAY, MAY 24, 2005


(A) SUBJECTS COVERED IN TODAY'S REPORT:

IRAN: EU-3 TALKS, NUCLEAR PROGRAM

(B) SUMMARY OF COVERAGE:

WITH THE VOTE ON THE EU CONSTITUTION LOOMING, THE MAJORITY OF
HEADLINES AND COMMENTARIES CONTINUE TO FOCUS ON THE FUTURE OF
THE EU. GERHARD SCHROEDER'S DEFEAT IN A LEGISLATIVE ELECTION
IN NORTH RHINE-WESTPHALIA AND HIS DECISION TO HOLD EARLY
ELECTIONS ALSO DOMINATE MANY OF TODAY'S HEADLINES, THE
MAJORITY OF WHICH CALL THE DECISION SCHROEDER'S "DOUBLE OR
NOTHING."

RIGHT-OF-CENTER LE FIGARO PUBLISHES A NEW POLL THAT SHOWS THE
"NO" LEADING BY 53 PERCENT WITH 71 PERCENT OF THOSE POLLED
CLAIMING THAT THEY WILL NOT CHANGE THEIR MINDS. CATHOLIC LA
CROIX'S FRONT-PAGE HEADLINE AND EDITORIAL HYPOTHESIZE: "WHAT
IF FRANCE VOTES YES?" LA CROIX PUTS FORTH THAT A FRENCH "YES"
WOULD MEAN THAT THE CONSTITUTION COULD BE IMPLEMENTED AS EARLY
AS 2006 AND THAT IT WOULD GIVE IMPETUS TO THE REFERENDA THAT
WILL BE HELD IN HOLLAND, LUXEMBURG AND DENMARK. CENTRIST
BUSINESS-ORIENTED LA TRIBUNE INDICATES THAT THE "OUTCOME OF
THE REFERENDUM COULD AFFECT THE PARITY BETWEEN THE EURO AND
THE DOLLAR."

LEFT-OF-CENTER LE MONDE LEADS: "GERMANY, FRANCE AND HOLLAND:
EUROPE IS HESITANT ABOUT ITS FUTURE," WHILE LEFT-OF-CENTER
LIBERATION AND COMMUNIST L'HUMANITE ANALYZE THE FEAR IN FRANCE
OF "SOCIAL DUMPING" AND "MASSIVE OUTSOURCING" SHOULD THE
CONSTITUTION BE RATIFIED. THE EDITORIALS IN BOTH LIBERATION
AND L'HUMANITE CONCLUDE THAT THE REFERENDUM IN FRANCE HAS AT
LEAST HAD THE OF EFFECT SHEDDING LIGHT ON THIS FEAR AMONG
FRENCH WORKERS.

RIGHT-OF-CENTER LE FIGARO'S LEADING INTERNATIONAL STORY
CONCERNS IRAN IN LIGHT OF THE UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
AND THE AYATOLLAH KHAMENEI'S DECISION TO REVIEW BACK THE BAN
ON TWO REFORMIST CANDIDATES IN RUNNING IN THE ELECTION AS WELL
AS THE EU-3 MEETINGS TO DISCUSS IRAN'S NUCLEAR PROGRAM. THE
MEETINGS IN BRUSSELS TODAY AND GENEVA TOMORROW OVER THE ISSUE
OF IRAN'S NUCLEAR PROGRAM IS QUALIFIED AS A "LAST CHANCE" BY
LE FIGARO, ADDING THAT THESE MEETINGS WILL BE "CLOSELY WATCHED
BY WASHINGTON. WHICH IS CALLING ON EUROPEAN DIPLOMACY TO PROVE
THAT IT IS CREDIBLE." (SEE PART C)

REPORTS ON THE UOIF'S (THE UNION OF ISLAMIC ORGANIZATIONS OF
FRANCE) OPPOSITION TO THE "SECOND CHRONICLE OF FATWAS"
PUBLISHED BY THE "EUROPEAN COUNCIL OF FATWAS" PROMPTS LEFT-OF-
CENTER LE MONDE TO CALL THE CHRONICLE "EMBARRASSING" FOR THE
UOIF AND THE CFCM (FRENCH MUSLIM COUNCIL) WHO FEAR THAT THIS
TEXT WILL TARNISH THE IMAGE OF MODERATE MUSLIMS IN FRANCE.


(C) SUPPORTING TEXT/BLOCK QUOTES:

IRAN: EU-3 TALKS, NUCLEAR PROGRAM

"THE CHINESE WAY FOR IRAN"
BERNARD GEUTTA TOLD LISTENERS THIS MORNING ON STATE-RUN FRANCE
INTER RADIO: "EVIDENTLY THE CHOICE OF THE NEW PRESIDENT IN
IRAN HAS ALREADY BEEN MADE AND IT APPEARS THAT FORMER
PRESIDENT RAFSANDJANI WILL WIN. WHILE MOHAMMAD KHATAMI WAS
CONSIDERED TO BE THE IRANIAN GORBATCHEV, A MAN WHO DETERMINED
TO LEAD HIS COUNTRY TOWARD DEMOCRACY, ALI-AKBAR RAFSANDJANI
SEEMS TO PERSONIFY THE `CHINESE WAY,' THAT IS TO SAY POLITICAL
DICTATORSHIP COEXISTING WITH ECONOMIC LIBERALIZATION AND THE
QUEST FOR A `MODUS VIVENDI' WITH THE U.S. WITH THE FUTURE
ELECTION OF ALI-AKBAR RAFSANDJANI, IRAN MAY REACH A HAND OUT
TO THE U.S. THAT TODAY IT CONTINUES TO DEFY WITH ITS NUCLEAR
AMBITIONS. RAFSANDJANI DREAMS OF AN HISTORIC COMPROMISE WITH
THE U.S. THAT WOULD ENSURE IRAN'S DOMINATION IN THE REGION IN
EXCHANGE FOR IT CONTRIBUTING TO THE STABILIZATION ON IRAQ AND
PROMOTING THE DIALOGUE WITH ITS ARAB NEIGHBORS."
"IRAN'S NUCLEAR PROGRAM"
ON PRIVATE RTL RADIO, ISABELLE DATH COMMENTED (05/24): "THE
NEGOTIATIONS ON THE FUTURE OF IRAN'S NUCLEAR PROGRAM ARE
CRUCIAL. IT IS A DANGEROUS GAME OF LIAR'S POKER. THE IRANIANS
ARE PLAYING WITH THE EUROPEANS' NERVES. AND THE WEST NO LONGER
TRUSTS THIS COUNTRY WHICH FOR THE LAST 18 YEARS HAS BEEN
TRYING TO HIDE ITS NUCLEAR ACTIVITIES. IRAN IS ALSO ENTERING A
TACTICAL PHASE WITH THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION ON JUNE 17.
FACED WITH THE OUTCRY WITHIN THE COUNTRY AS WELL AS ABROAD
AGAINST THE DECISION TO BAR TWO REFORMIST CANDIDATES FROM THE
ELECTION AND COMPOUNDED WITH THE U.S. THREAT TO WITHHOLD ITS
SUPPORT FOR IRAN BECOMING PART OF THE WTO, THE AYATOLLAH
KHAMENEI WAS FORCED TO ORDER A REVIEW OF THE DECISION." WOLFF

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