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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Iran Nuclear Program

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




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. Summary: As the major Chinese-language Taipei
dailies August 12 continued to provide extensive
coverage of the water supply situation in Taoyuan and
incoming Typhoon Sanvu, the centrist "China Times"
carried news stories about Taiwan's military buildup
and cross-Strait transportation on its front page. The
"China Times" ran a banner headline on its front page
that read: "[Squadrons of] Taiwan's indigenous cruise
missiles will be formed." A second news story on the
newspapers' front page was topped with the headline:
"Minister of Communications and Transportation: both
sides of the Taiwan Strait have reached a consensus
regarding [cross-Strait] charter and cargo flights."
The pro-independence "Liberty Times," Taiwan's biggest
daily, however, printed a wire service story on its
page two, quoting the U.K.-based "Financial Times" as
saying that "The United States will monitor closely the
Chinese companies listed in the U.S. capital market."
The newspaper also carried a news story on that page
that quoted the Nobel-Prize winner for economics in
2004, Edward Prescott, as saying China's economic
growth will hardly persist as its productivity is much
lower than that of Taiwan, the United States and Japan.

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2. Most Chinese-language newspapers editorialized on
the water supply problem in Taiwan August 12, but a
"China Times" column commented on the Iran nuclear
program. According to the commentary, problems
associated with Iran's nuclear program cannot be
resolved if relations between the United States and
Iran are not improved first. End summary.

"Resolution to Iran's Nuclear Program"

The "International Outlook" column of the centrist, pro-
status quo "China Times" [circulation: 500,000] wrote

". Iran's nuclear program is in essence a matter
concerning the conflict between the United States and
Iran. The European Union (EU) is tasked with the
responsibility of mediating and negotiating with Iran
on the frontlines, while the United States just hides
behind the EU and provides random comments. This
situation is similar to the nuclear problem on the
Korean peninsula; namely, the United States is using
the `Six Party Talks' to deal with North Korea, but
deep down, it is still a matter concerning the conflict
between Washington and Pyongyang. .

"Pyongyang used to rely on Russia to maintain its
security. In the aftermath of the Cold War, Russia
turned its back on North Korea and no longer took
charge of the latter's security. In the meantime,
Washington did not [seize the opportunity to] befriend
Pyongyang; instead, it suppressed North Korea all the
more, to the extent that it almost tried to put it to
death. For Pyongyang, the only way to maintain and
sustain its regime at that time was to develop nuclear
weapons. To put it simply, North Korea will never give
up its nuclear program unless it gets assurances about
its national security in the post-Cold War era. .

"The situation is similar in Iran. Iran's economic
situation is much better than that of North Korea
because it possesses oil resources. But the
suffocating situation it experiences in international
politics is no better than that of North Korea's. The
suffocation comes from Washington's attempt to blockade
Iran entirely, which has also sparked Iranian loathing
toward the United States. When rumors had it in the
international community that the United States would
invade Iran following its war in Iraq, Iran felt the
need more desperately to develop nuclear weapons to
defend itself. When Washington decided not to end its
suppression of Iran and showed the possibility of
invading it anytime, could Iran safeguard itself just
by relying on the EU's commitments? Can the EU really
stop the United States if the latter wants to invade
Iran? . Judged from this perspective, the problem
concerning Iran's nuclear program can hardly be
resolved if the relationship between the United States
and Iran are not improved."


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