Cablegate: Iran; Miceli/Paulson Meeting; Regional Forum On
DE RUEHBU #2136/01 2621807
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 191807Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5952
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 002136
STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL MEDIA REACTION
SUBJECT: IRAN; MICELI/PAULSON MEETING; REGIONAL FORUM ON
INTERNATIONAL SECURITY AND ORGANIZED CRIME; VENEZUELA'S ENTRY INTO
MERCOSUR 09/19/06; BUENOS AIRES
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Major local dailies cover extensively the Regional Forum on
International Security and Organized Crime, held yesterday at the
Buenos Aires Stock Exchange. They also report statements from Theo
Van Lingen, Policy Advisor for the Western Hemisphere, US Treasury.
Daily-of-record "La Nacion" carries an exclusive interview with Mr.
Theo Van Lingen in its "Economy and Business" Supplement.
Other international stories include French President Chirac's
proposal that powerful countries should not resort to the UN
Security Council to seek sanctions against Iran; the meeting between
US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Argentine Economy Minister
Felisa Miceli; Argentine First Lady Cristina Kirchner's criticism of
and the impact of Venezuela's entry into Mercosur.
2. OPINION PIECES
- "Chirac's turning point on Iran on the eve of the UN General
Daily-of-record "La Nacion" reports (09/19) "On the eve of the 61st
UN General Assembly in New York, which will mainly deal with the
crisis unleashed by the Iranian nuclear program, French President
Jacques Chirac proposed yesterday that powerful nations should not
resort to the UN Security Council to seek sanctions against Tehran
but they should make progress on negotiations.
"In this why, Chirac revealed a turning point on the sensitive
Iranian nuclear program... With regards to Iran, the French
president said that powerful countries in charge of the issue should
not resort to said institution to impose sanctions on Iran.
"At the same time, he suggested that, in exchange for this, Iran
'should relinquish uranium enrichment activities' for the sake of
negotiations. Chirac proposed the suspension take place 'during' and
not 'before' negotiations. It is the first time a European leader
clearly states that the suspension of Iran's uranium
enrichment-related activities should not constitute a 'prior
condition' for opening of negotiations on the sensitive Iranian
"This strategy goes against that promoted by the US, which will seek
consensus during the UN General Assembly to impose sanctions on
Iran. Washington is calling for a suspension of Iranian nuclear
activities as a prior condition for negotiations."
- "Argentina's conciliatory gestures with the US"
Alejandro Rebossio, on special assignment in Singapore for
daily-of-record "La Nacion's" "Economic & Business" supplement,
writes (09/19) "Yesterday, Argentina complained to the US for its
lack of support on loans to the country by some multilateral lending
agencies, but the US downplayed the issue.
"While President Nestor Kirchner is in New York to meet with US
investors, Economy Minister Felisa Miceli met yesterday with US
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in Singapore, and the two of them
agreed to improve communication in order to avoid new conflicts.
"Miceli asked Paulson why, during recent months, the US has approved
some IDB loans while rejecting others - among them one satellite
development project in cooperation with NASA.
"Secretary Paulson, who usually goes straight to the point, said it
was better to speak about the future and he downplayed the issue by
pointing out that the loans had been approved by the IDB all the
"Finally, Paulson and Miceli agreed that the next time a loan to
Argentina is brought to the consideration of the board of
multinational lending agencies, bilateral contacts will be
strengthened so that projects are better explained.
"Miceli expects that dialogue will be strengthened when the new US
Ambassador Earl Wayne arrives in Buenos Aires.
"Miceli emphasized the companies' investment plans including those
of US corporations, in Argentina. According to a high-ranking
Economy Ministry source, Paulson acknowledged the country's 'high
"According to the same source, there was no criticism during the
meeting of Argentina's economy, its energy supply system, its ties
with Venezuela and Bolivia, or Argentina's vote against the IMF
- "The US asks the country for anti-terrorist financing
Martin Kanenguiser, columnist of Daily-of-record "La Nacion's"
"Economy and Business" supplement makes an interview with Theo Van
Lingen, Advisor for the Western Hemisphere at the US Treasury
Department, who said that Argentina should have legislation against
terrorist financing in order to avoid measures that could isolate it
from the international financial system. He also said that the
Financial Information Unit should be independent from the political
power in order to work properly.
"... Asked about the fight on money laundering and terrorist
financing in Argentina, Van Lingen said 'we understand that
obstacles do appear; however, Argentina supported the Financial
Action Task Force (FATF), which generates some pressure for
legislation to be approved faster. The US finds it very important
for the country to approve legislation against terrorist financing,
and this is why we support Argentina in every possible way. The US
is trying to prevent the use of the financial system to transfer
money to terrorist groups all over the world.'
"On the consequences of a FATF sanction on Argentina, Van Lingen
said 'the effect of an international sanction could be financial
- "The Argentine Government defines its anti-money laundering
Natasha Niebieskikwiat, columnist of leading "Clarin," writes
(09/19) "Argentine Justice Minister Alberto Iribarne asserted
yesterday that within the next days, he will submit a national
agenda against money laundering and terrorist financing to President
Nestor Kirchner. According to the minister, they will seek a
coordinated strategy for all governmental institutions involved in
"Iribarne gave an address along with the US DCM Michael Matera at
the opening ceremony of the Regional Forum on International Security
and Organized Crime at the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange. The forum
was coordinated by Argentine-American Dialogue, Fundar and the US
Department of State.
"The forum is another place where Washington stamps its message on
issues that it believes are top priority issues, such as the global
fight on terrorism and money laundering activities at the
"... Theo J. Van Lingen, Policy Advisor for the Western Hemisphere
at the US Treasury Department, said that 'only through joint
cooperation shall we become highly effective in the fight against
money laundering and the accounting practices that serve terrorist
financing.' The young but decisive Van Lingen was one of the invited
panelists along with other government officials from Brazil,
Paraguay and Argentina.
"Van Lingen said yesterday that 'we are facing a new era in which
finance ministries, regulators and institutions' should seek and
detect risks in order 'to isolate threats.'"
- "Money laundering and terrorism, the focus of a seminar on
Natalia Labruna, international columnist of business-financial
"InfoBae," comments (09/19) "In the framework of the Regional Forum
on International Security and Organized Crime, which was held at the
Buenos Aries Stock Exchange auditorium and was organized by the
Public Affairs Section of the US Embassy, the US-Argentine Dialogue
Foundation and Fundar-Justice and Security Foundation, several
experts tackled diverse issues related to international security.
"One of the main topics of the encounter was money laundering and
its close ties to terrorist financing.
"On this issue, Theo Van Lingen, advisor at the US Treasury
Department, asserted that financial institutions should play a
fundamental role in the fight against money laundering and terrorist
"According to Van Lingen, both credit cards and phone and banking
transactions provide terrorists with opportunities to launder money
from their crimes. However, he made clear that financial
institutions can prevent these procedures, and he underscored the
importance of involving the private sector in this fight."
- "The US considers Argentine cooperation 'excellent'"
Business-financial, center-right "InfoBae" reports (09/19) "The US
Deputy Chief of Mission, Michael Matera characterized Argentine
cooperation in the fight on the organized crime as 'excellent,' and
he called to promote greater work on the border.
"Matera recalled that the 'FBI is cooperating in a very productive
way with law enforcement agencies' on 'issues related to criminal
investigation and terrorism, information exchange and training
"In the framework of the Regional Forum on International Security
and Organized Crime, Matera highlighted that 'many of the problems
we face today in the area of security and law enforcement... have
two things in common - they are interrelated and have no borders.'"
- "A new promise to fight money laundering"
Business-financial "Ambito Financiero" reports (09/19) "Argentine
Justice Minister Alberto Iribarne asserted yesterday that 'Argentina
will have a strategy against money laundering and terrorist
financing,' which will be coordinated among different governmental
institutions. The relevant document will be finished in the next
days and submitted to the President.
"The minister made this announcement in the framework of the Forum
on International Security and Organized Crime, which he opened along
with the US Deputy Chief of Mission, Michael Matera, at the Buenos
Aires Stock Exchange.
"During the meeting, the US representative, who is in charge of the
US Embassy until the arrival of Anthony Wayne, called cooperation in
the fight on organized crime 'excellent.'"
- "Cristina defends capitalism and questions the IMF role once
Ana Baron, Washington-based correspondent for leading "Clarin,"
writes (09/19) "... 'I do not care if we are called 'populist.'
After the class she gave to students from the University in Columbia
in New York, she gave a long explanation on why populism is the
other side of capitalism and how Kirchner and his administration
"'What is capitalism? One of the things that made the Berlin wall
fall was not the US power but the fact that capitalism is a better
idea than communism and what makes capitalism differ from other
doctrines is consumption.'
"However, the first thing the IMF advises, through its policies of
adjustment, is constraining consumption, so?...'
"... The First Lady also criticized privatized corporations because
they ask for an increase in public service rates, something which,
according to her, goes against consumption...
"'Whenever a government defends its resources, its national decision
system, whenever it wants to make autonomous decisions according to
the citizens' interests, and to have its own integration project,
and not be subordinated to the world, it is incorrectly called
- "With Venezuela's entry into Mercosur, integration will be
Leading "Clarin" carries an op-ed story by Fabian Calle, professor
of International Relations at Di Tella University and the Catholic
University, who writes (09/19) "In the framework of Venezuela's
entry into Mercosur as a full member, President Chavez emphasized
the need for making progress not only on economic integration but
also on the military one.
"... Argentina and Brazil have showed their willingness to increase
financial, trade and energy ties to Venezuela, but not security and
defense relations, which are strongly confronted with those of the
Western powers, particularly those of Washington and Israel.
"... Mercosur has little to obtain from including military and
security issues on its agenda of cooperation with the Chavez
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