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Cablegate: President Bush Acknowledgement of Cia Prisons; Dvc with Us

VZCZCXYZ0035
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #2040/01 2511451
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 081451Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5834
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
RULGPUA/USCOMSOLANT

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 002040

SIPDIS

STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
WHA/EPSC
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL MEDIA REACTION
SUBJECT: PRESIDENT BUSH ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF CIA PRISONS; DVC WITH US
AMBASSADOR GREGORY SCHULTE ON IRAN; IDB LOAN FOR ARGENTINA;
US-PARAGUAY AND US-URUGUAY FTAs; 09/07/06; BUENOS AIRES


1. SUMMARY STATEMENT

Local international stories include US President George W. Bush
acknowledging the existence of previously secret CIA prisons around
the world; a DVC with US Ambassador to the International Atomic
Energy Agency Gregory Schulte on the diplomatic challenge posed by
Iran's nuclear program; the IDB loan for Argentina; and the
US-Paraguay and US-Uruguay FTAs.

2. OPINION PIECES AND KEY STORIES

- "The US acknowledges it used secret prisons all over the world"

Ana Baron, Washington-based correspondent for leading "Clarin,"
writes (09/07) "Two months away from legislative elections, in a
real change of direction, US President George W. Bush acknowledged
yesterday that the CIA has clandestine prisons all over the world,
which were created after the September 11 attacks. And he announced
that 14 terrorists detained in these prisons were transferred to
Guantanamo Bay for trials. Bush also urged the US Congress to adopt
legislation establishing legal military courts where terrorists can
be judged for diverse crimes including the September 11 attacks.

"... If an attack is always the best defense, Bush decided to go
beyond that, and during the press conference he granted, in which he
was surrounded by relatives of victims to the September 11 attacks,
he revealed the existence of CIA clandestine prisons highlighting
that these secret prisons had brought big achievements in the global
war on terrorism."

- "The achievements of war"

Marcelo Cantelmi, international editor of leading "Clarin," writes
(09/07) "It was an election campaign act rather than an
acknowledgement of guilt or mistakes... George W. Bush exhibited the
lamentable existence of clandestine prisons as a new achievement and
he did so by looking to the imminent anniversary of the terrible
September 11 attacks...

"Bush needs to revive those ghosts to strengthen his administration
vis-`-vis upcoming November legislative elections.

"Everything that has happened ever since the September 11 attacks
has a ghostly face, ranging from abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison,
lack of rights at Guantanamo, and the decision to ignore centuries
of international legality by sustaining a 'pre-emptive' attack
concept. However, the White House considers those obscurities
legitimate tools, and it modifies reality... and makes up paradises
of war achievements where one can only predict swamps."

- "'Iran has no nuclear weapons but it is seeking them'"

Claudio Mario Aliscioni, international analyst of leading "Clarin,"
writes (09/07) "Ambassador Gregory Schulte has been the US
Representative at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in
Vienna for one year. He has never been in Argentina but he
repeatedly underscores Argentina's cooperation against nuclear
proliferation. As a White House delegate, his criticism is focused
on Iran, which Washington accuses of developing a nuclear program
with military purposes.

"However, the fiasco of the invasion of Iraq makes him cautious when
condemning the Tehran regime 'We do not believe Iran has nuclear
weapons, but we do believe it is seeking to obtain them.'

"During a two-hour DVC between his Austrian office and the US
Embassy in Buenos Aires, Schulte repeated many times that his
country is seeking a 'diplomatic solution' to the crisis with Iran,
which refuses to suspend its nuclear program based on its civil
purposes. The US rejects it and encourages UN sanctions. However,
some members of the UN Security Council, such as Russia and China,
who have strong commercial ties with Tehran, are trying to put a
brake on Washington's disciplinary options.

"'Clarin' asked why the world should now trust the US charges
against Iran when all previous arguments against Iraq were proven
false.

"'I do not blame you for the question. I also asked whether we were
sure about the information on Iraq. But now we have better
information than in the past.' 'We did not find a 'smoking gun', but
we do have years and years of deceit and the fact that Iran is
taking steps to master technology, which, through enriched uranium,
can lead to the manufacture of nuclear weapons. And this is not
speculation.'


"Asked whether the US would seek unilateral sanctions in the event
the UN imposes no sanctions on Iran, Schulte answered 'We seek UN
Security Council sanctions. What you mention is highly
hypothetical.'"

- "The US urges to impose 'firm sanctions' on Iran"

Dolores Ayerra, columnist of business-financial, center-right
"InfoBae," comments (09/07) "The Bush administration is convinced
that Iran is developing a nuclear armament program, which it is not
willing to suspend. While the US asks for an urgent solution, it has
dismissed a military attack.

"... During a DVC organized by the US Embassy in Argentina, US
Representative at the UN in Vienna, Gregory Schulte reviewed the
conclusions of said report and he expressed his deep concern in
relation thereto.

"Schulte pointed out that the report warns that 'Iranian authorities
have not complied with the UN Security Council's demands to suspend
their enriched uranium-related activities.' He also underscored that
the document shows more than a dozen instances in which Iran has
denied AIEA inspectors adequate access to information, facilities
and individuals.

"While the Tehran government argues that this program is only for
peaceful purposes, the US is increasingly suspicious and it
questions the alleged civil use of said technology.

"... Schulte urged the international community to seek a diplomatic
and urgent solution to the conflict, which should be backed by firm
sanctions. In spite of the increasing tension, the White House has
dismissed any unilateral and military solution."

- "Face to face"

Santiago O'Donnell, internationa columnist of left-of-center
"Pagina 12," writes (09/07) "During the morning I attended a DVC
with US Ambassador to the AIEA, Gregory L. Schulte. During the
afternoon I read some statements from Iranian President Mahmud
Ahmadinejad. Both of them, the American and the Iranian, spoke of
the same. It is a pity that their countries have cut their ties and
that the two of them cannot talk face to face.

"By using some quotes of statements made by the two of them, I can
imagine the following dialogue between them.

"Ambassador Schulte: 'The AIEA report, which was submitted to the UN
Security Council last august 31, focuses on two fields -
cooperation, or better said, (Iran's) lack of cooperation with AIEA
inspectors, and its suspension, or better said, refusal to suspend
its nuclear program, as mandated by the UN...'

"President Ahmadinejad: 'My visit to the UN in New York on September
12 is a good opportunity to organize a public debate...'

"Ambassador Schulte: 'There is no 'smoking gun,' but there are
enough signs that the US and the international community are
convinced that Iran is seeking to develop a nuclear weapon.'

"President Ahmadinejad: 'We want to submit proposals to better lead
the world, and establish justice, calm, welfare, peace, friendship
and gentleness.'

"Ambassador Schulte: 'Iran says it wants to achieve nuclear
development with peaceful purposes, but it has no nuclear energy
electric centrals. For the one it is building, it has committed
Russian nuclear material. For years the nuclear central of Natanz
was disguised as an agricultural research center.'

"President Ahmadinejad: 'I do not agree with the methods of big
powers, particularly those of the US and UK to lead the world.'

"... Well, we made a try. The dialogue did not end well, but it is
better than nothing. Perhaps, when they do realize that they should
have a dialogue, it will be too late."

- "The US: 'This is the moment for sanctions'"

Daily-of-record "La Nacion's" international columnist Dolores Tereso
writes (09/07) "Convinced that words are not enough, the US believes
that this is the time to act. Vis-`-vis an Iran that, according to
Washington, is only trying to 'buy time' to continue developing its
controversial nuclear program, diplomacy needs some help.

"US Ambassador to the AIEA Gregory Schulte said yesterday 'Time has


come for the UN Security Council to back diplomacy with sanctions.'
The US diplomat made these statements in Vienna, AIEA headquarters,
during a DVC with Argentine media representatives at the US Embassy
in Buenos Aires.

"... While Schulte did not give details on the kinds of sanctions
the US is planning (although it is known that they would be
gradually imposed), Schulte said that those sanctions would be
focused on weakening Tehran's nuclear program and that they will not
be intended to 'punish the Iranian people.'

"Consulted on the possibility that the US could analyze the military
option against Tehran in the event sanctions will not persuade the
Islamic regime to abandon its nuclear program, the US diplomat
insisted that the White House would be limited to the diplomatic
solution...

"Nonetheless, he clarified that diplomacy must 'urgently' act and he
recalled the Iranian president's call to 'wipe Israel off the map.'
He added 'Imagine this government armed with nuclear weapons. Iran
is the most active sponsor of terrorism, and both the US and
Argentina have suffered the effects of its action.'

"For its part, Ahmadinejad responded to Bush's charges and defied
him to debate face to face with him during the UN General Assembly
in New York. Iran's challenging attitude seems to be based on the
conviction that the threat or sanctions will not be made effective
due to Russia and China's opposition... However, in a change in his
position, Russian FM Serguei Lavrov said yesterday for the first
time that Russia would analyze the possibility of imposing economic
sanctions on Iran."

- "Argentine position on Iran is praised"

Jorge Sosa, columnist of business-financial "El Cronista," writes
(09/07) "US Ambassador Gregory Schulte, US permanent representative
at the UN in Vienna and the AIEA, said that 'Argentina has played an
important role,' referring to the Kirchner administration's support
for the UN Security Council's claim that Iran should suspend its
nuclear program, which Washington considers a serious world threat.

"Schulte said that Argentina, through its diplomats, 'has clearly
expressed in public and private encounters the need for Iran to
cooperate' with the UN request for access to information on its
enriched uranium plan, which according to the US, is only intended
to develop nuclear armament."

- "The IDB grants a loan for Argentina in spite of US opposition"

Ana Baron, Washington-based correspondent for leading "Clarin,"
writes (09/07) "The IDB approved yesterday a 50-million dollar loan
for Argentina in spite of the fact that the US representative voted
against it during a Board meeting in which they discussed the
issue.

"The loan will be used for a project to build two satellites for a
total amount of 100 million dollars. The IDB will only contribute
half of said amount.

"Argentine Ambassador to Washington, Jose Octavio Bordon, made
attempts at the US Treasury Department and the US Department of
State to convince them that the US should abandon its reservations
but his efforts were in vain.

"The US Treasury Department believes that the IDB priority right now
is granting loans for infrastructure and not for these kinds of
loans for satellites.

"... The current political disagreement between the US and Argentina
is public and remarkable and it reappears again just a few days away
from President Nestor Kirchner and Economy Minister Felisa Miceli's
visit to New York to attend the UN Assembly."

- "Will Paraguay also reach an FTA with the US"

Business-financial "Ambito Financiero" reports (09/07) "Uruguay and
Paraguay seem determined to make progress on direct negotiations
outside of Mercosur to reach an FTA with the US. It was made public
that Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez has arranged to hold a
meeting with Lula to speak about this issue. For his part, the new
Paraguayan FM, Ruben Ramirez, asserted that the rest of Mercosur
partners 'should not be surprised' that his country will start
negotiating an FTA with the US.

"Vazquez intends to start sharing information with the Bush
administration to reach an FTA in early October, but before this he


believes there should be a direct nod from Mercosur in support of
these negotiations."


To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
classified website at:
http://www.state.sqov.gov/p/wha/buenosaires

MATERA

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