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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Iran; Dhaka

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 DHAKA 003943

SIPDIS

FOR I/FW, B/G, IIP/G/NEA-SA, B/VOA/N (BANGLA SERVICE) STATE
FOR SA/PAB, SA/PPD (LSCENSNY, SSTRYKER), SA/RA, INR/R/MR,
AND PASS TO USAID FOR ANE/ASIA/SA/B (WJOHNSON)

CINCPAC FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR, J51 (MAJ TURNER), J45
(MAJ NICHOLLS)

USARPAC FOR APOP-IM (MAJ HEDRICK)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR OIIP OPRC KPAO PREL ETRD PTER ASEC BG OCII
SUBJECT: Media Reaction: Iran; Dhaka

Summary: On the reported U.S. move to deny visa to the
Iranian President to attend the U.N. conference, independent
"New Age" says that it would create a dangerous precedent.

On the Iranian decision to resume conversion of uranium into
nuclear fuel, "Bangladesh Observer" notes that the U.S.
still hopes for a diplomatic solution and urges Iran to
avoid confrontation.


----
Iran
----

"Ahmadinejad and a Visa"
Independent English language newspaper "New Age" editorially
comments (8/11):

The Bush administration will be making a terrible mistake if
it refuses to grant a visa to Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad for next month's UN General Assembly session.
While it is still a little too early to comment on whether
such a dire happening will come to pass, one cannot but be
worried at reports that the American authorities are
actually in the process of considering the issue.... But if
President Bush and his officials now decide, on the basis of
their belief that Mr. Ahmadinejad may have been involved in
the hostage-taking affair in 1979, that the Iranian leader
does not qualify for an American visa, they will not only be
breaking with convention but will also be setting a
dangerous new precedent. The current administration in
Washington has already become known for the arch
conservatism it has chosen as its policy plank. It has sent
controversial men such as John Bolton to the United Nations
despite the fact that his nomination had been stalled in the
Senate.
But the conservatism which the administration symbolizes may
finally reach an incendiary point should President
Ahmadinejad be denied a visa. As it is, the strains relating
to Iran's nuclear program have done good damage to the
prospect of good relations between Tehran and Europe on the
one hand and Tehran and Washington on the other. In such
circumstances, raising the visa issue can only compound
matters.
-----------
"Iran's Nuclear ambitions and the U.N."
Independent English language newspaper "Bangladesh Observer"
editorially comments (8/11):
In light of Iran's rejection of EU offers of trade
incentives in exchange for a suspension of all nuclear work
that could be used to build weapons, U.S. Secretary of
Defense Donald Rumsfeld's interest in Azerbaijan can be
understood. American over flights of Iranian soil are
already reported to be taking place using pilotless drones
and other more sophisticated, capabilities, thus the battle
with Iran appears to have gone way beyond the intelligence
gathering phase. And to the north, in neighboring
Azerbaijan, the U.S. military is preparing a base of
operations for a massive military presence that will
foretell a major land based campaign designed to capture
Tehran.
Iran still insists its nuclear program is for peaceful
energy purposes, and says it is keeping its freeze on
another, more advanced, process in the program to enrich
uranium... the United States maintains -- and European
countries have come agree that -- Iran intends to make
nuclear weapons.
Tied into this is the proliferation challenge that has
engulfed the world -- including non-compliance by North
Korea and Iran and the revelation of illicit nuclear
procurement networks. If Iran could hide its nuclear
enrichment program from IAEA for nearly two decades before
officially declaring it in 2003, other countries could do
that too.... As reported, the U.S. is still pinning its
hopes on finding a diplomatic solution rather than engage in
open confrontation, that hope seems to be fading fast as
European diplomats now say they would have little choice but
to ask for the agency, the international Atomic Energy
Agency, to place the issue before the United Nations
Security Council for possible political and economic
sanctions.
Chammas

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