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Cablegate: Media Reaction Report - Iran Iraq

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 005458

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 IRAQ
PARIS - THURSDAY, AUGUST 11, 2005


(A) SUBJECTS COVERED IN TODAY'S REPORT:

IRAQ
IRAN

B) SUMMARY OF COVERAGE:

DOMESTIC STORIES DOMINATE TODAY'S FRONT PAGES EXCEPT FOR THE
ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL PRESS, WHICH DEVOTES ITS FRONT PAGES TO
THE RISING PRICE OF OIL, (LA TRIBUNE) WHICH, ACCORDING TO LES
ECHOS, " HAS NOT DENTED THE CONFIDENCE OF WORLD MARKETS DUE TO
"PRESIDENT BUSH'S OPTIMISM." RIGHT-OF-CENTER LE FIGARO
EQUALLY DEVOTES ITS EDITORIAL TO AN ECONOMIC MATTER: TITLED
"CHINA, THE YUAN AND US," THE EDITORIAL COMMENTS: "CHINA HAS
HAD AN ARRANGEMENT WITH THE U.S. FOR THE PAST TEN YEARS. IN
EXCHANGE OF A STABLE YUAN, MASSIVE CHINESE INVESTMENTS HAVE
TRAVELED TO WALL STREET TO BUY AMERICAN BONDS, THUS FILLING
THE GAP OF AMERICA'S DEFICIT. IT IS PARTIALLY BECAUSE OF THESE
CHINESE INVESTMENTS THAT BUSH'S ADMINISTRATION WAS ABLE TO
FINANCE THE WAR IN IRAQ WITHOUT EFFECTING U.S. CREDIT RATES."

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IRAQ AND SECRETARY RUMSFELD'S COMMENTS ON IRAN PROVIDING
SOPHISTICATED WEAPONS TO IRAQ ARE REPORTED IN RIGHT-OF-CENTER
FRANCE SOIR AND LE FIGARO. FRANCE SOIR QUOTES CNRS EXPERT
AZADEH KHIAN-THIEBAUT: "IT IS NOT IN THE IRANIANS' INTEREST TO
HELP THE IRAQI GUERRILLA." "UNLESS OF COURSE," ADDS FRANCE
SOIR, "WITH THE NUCLEAR CRISIS BETWEEN IRAN AND THE WEST, THE
IRANIANS ARE EAGER TO SEND A MESSAGE TO THE U.S. ABOUT THE
MEANS THEY HAVE AT THEIR DISPOSAL IN IRAQ." IN REGIONAL OUEST
FRANCE THE EDITORIAL COMMENTS ON AMERICA'S "CHANGING MOOD"
OVER AMERICA'S INVOLVEMENT IN IRAQ, AND WASHINGTON'S TALK OF A
PARTIAL PULLOUT, "PARADOXICALLY JUST WHEN COUNTRIES SUCH AS
FRANCE ARE DEMONSTRATING THEIR SUPPORT TO WASHINGTON." (SEE
PART C)

LE FIGARO ENTITLES AN ARTICLE: "IRAQI LAWYERS DISCOURAGED BY
NON-RESPECT OF THE LAW." THE ARTICLE STATES IRAQ IS A "SEMI-
SOVEREIGN" COUNTRY OCCUPIED BY FOREIGN TROOPS "WHO, ACCORDING
TO A COUPLE OF IRAQI LAWYERS, HAVE RAIDED THEIR LAW OFFICES."
THE U.S. MILITARY IS REPORTED AS HAVING DENIED THE CHARGES.

IRAN AND THE NUCLEAR CRISIS REMAIN TODAY'S MAJOR INTERNATIONAL
STORIES. LEFT-OF-CENTER LE MONDE IN ITS EDITORIAL ADOPTS A
CRITICAL STANCE VIS-A-VIS THE EUROPEANS WHO APPEAR "UNABLE TO
READ TEHRAN'S DIPLOMATIC MESSAGE." SEVERAL ARTICLES POINT TO
THE DIVISIONS AMONG THE MEMBERS OF THE IAEA AS WELL AS TO
WASHINGTON'S SUPPORT OF THE EUROPEAN EFFORT. (SEE PART C)

(C) SUPPORTING TEXT/BLOCK QUOTES:

IRAQ

"GETTING OUT OF THE IRAQI QUAGMIRE"
JULIEN REDON IN REGIONAL OUEST FRANCE (08/11): "SOMETHING IS
PROBABLY CHANGING IN AMERICA'S PERCEPTION OF THE WAR IN IRAQ.
FOR A LONG TIME THE AMERICANS STOOD TOGETHER IN THE FACE OF
ADVERSITY, CONVINCED FOR THE MOST PART THEY WERE RIGHT. BUT AS
THIS BELIEF BEGINS TO WAVER, IT HAS BECOME MORE DIFFICULT FOR
THOSE IN POWER TO UPHOLD A MARTIAL STANCE. AND THIS IS WHY
WASHINGTON IS BEGINNING TO TALK ABOUT THE PROSPECT OF A
PARTIAL PULLOUT. PARADOXICALLY, THIS IS TAKING PLACE JUST
WHEN, ON THE INTERNATIONAL SCENE, THOSE WHO WERE THE MOST
HOSTILE TO THE U.S. INTERVENTION, AMONG THEM FRANCE, ARE
SHOWING AN EAGERNESS TO HELP WASHINGTON GET OUT OF THE
QUAGMIRE. THEY HAVE PROBABLY COME TO REALIZE THAT AN OUTRIGHT
U.S. PULLOUT FROM IRAQ WOULD BE EVEN MORE PERILOUS, AND NOT
ONLY FOR THE U.S."

IRAN

"WASHINGTON ENCOURAGES EUROPEAN EFFORTS"
GUILLEMETTE FAURE IN RIGHT-OF-CENTER LE FIGARO (08/11):
"PRESIDENT BUSH ACKNOWLEDGED HE REMAINS SUSPICIOUS ABOUT
IRAN'S NUCLEAR AMBITIONS. HE HAS ADOPTED A DISTANT BUT
WATCHFUL ATTITUDE, LOOKING OVER THE SHOULDERS OF THE EUROPEANS
TO SEE WHAT IS BEING DISCUSSED AT THE NEGOTIATING TABLE.
DURING A PRESS CONFERENCE FROM HIS TEXAS RANCH, PRESIDENT BUSH
DID EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO ERASE ANY LINGERING DOUBTS ABOUT
THE WHITE HOUSE'S SUPPORT OF THE EUROPEAN DIPLOMATIC EFFORT IN
THE IRANIAN CRISIS. IF THE IRANIANS WERE TO PERSIST IN THEIR
ATTITUDE, PRESIDENT BUSH MADE IT CLEAR THE ANSWER WOULD BE A
CONCERTED RESPONSE BETWEEN THE U.S. AND THE EUROPEANS."

"IRAN'S AMBITIONS"
LEFT-OF-CENTER LE MONDE IN ITS UNSIGNED EDITORIAL (08/11): "AT
FIRST GLANCE THE NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN THE INTERNATIONAL
COMMUNITY AND IRAN CAN APPEAR COMPLEX AND FULL OF UPSETS. BUT
IN REALITY IT IS SIMPLE AND POINTS TO A SINGLE TRUTH: IRAN'S
AMBITION TO GET ITS HANDS ON NUCLEAR WEAPONS. FOR YEARS, IRAN
HAS PURSUED THIS GOAL WHILE DENYING IT. THIS WAS IRAN'S
AMBITION UNDER THE SHAH; IT REMAINS IRAN'S AMBITION UNDER THE
MULLAHS. IN SPITE OF NUMEROUS OBSTACLES, THE IRANIANS HAVE NOT
ABANDONED THEIR QUEST. IRAN IS CONVINCED THAT COMMERCIAL AND
MILITARY NUCLEAR CAPABILITIES ARE THE ONLY WEAPONS THAT CAN
BALANCE THE PRESSURE FROM ITS REGIONAL NEIGHBORS WHERE
AMERICAN BASES HAVE BEEN SPROUTING. IN ADDITION, THREE NEW
NUCLEAR STATES HAVE EMERGED IN THIS UNSTABLE REGION: INDIA,
PAKISTAN AND ISRAEL, IRAN'S DECLARED ENEMY, WHICH IT HAS SWORN
TO DESTROY. FACED WITH IRAN'S DETERMINATION AND THE SUBTLETY
OF ITS DIPLOMACY, APT TO BLOW HOT AND COLD, EUROPE IS
STAMMERING. SUFFERING FROM MYOPIA, IT HAS BEEN UNABLE TO
DECIPHER THE HARDENING POPULIST STANCE OF IRAN AFTER ITS
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. EUROPE EXPECTED RAFSANJANI BUT HAS HAD
TO MAKE DO WITH THE ULTRACONSERVATIVE AHMADINEJAD. DEAF,
EUROPE IS INCAPABLE OF DECODING AND ANTICIPATING TEHRAN'S
MESSAGES. THE TROIKA, WHICH IS NOW OPENLY SUPPORTED BY
WASHINGTON, CONTINUES TO BET ON THE VIRTUES OF DIPLOMACY.
INDEED THERE IS NO OTHER OPTION, OTHER THAN A DANGEROUS
POLITICAL ESCALATION AND AS A LAST RESORT A MILITARY
ESCALATION." HOFMANN

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