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Cablegate: Iranian Media Attach Accuses Kuwaiti Columnists

VZCZCXRO6328
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK
DE RUEHKU #4307 3051345
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 011345Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY KUWAIT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7412
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS KUWAIT 004307

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

STATE FOR NEA/IR AND NEA/ARP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KPAO IR KU KUWAIT IRAN RELATIONS
SUBJECT: IRANIAN MEDIA ATTACH ACCUSES KUWAITI COLUMNISTS
OF SPREADING LIES; JOURNALISTS' SYNDICATE CALLS FOR APOLOGY

REF: KUWAIT 4265

1. (SBU) During an October 28 interview with Al-Rai Al-Aam
(local Arabic daily), Ridha Mustafaei, the Media Attach at
the Iranian Embassy in Kuwait, sharply attacked some Kuwaiti
columnists for writing articles critical of Iran,
specifically Iran's nuclear program and its role in Iraq.
"We have noticed recently that some of the writers in the
Kuwaiti press are interested in publishing lies and gossip
against the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Iranian people
to get a letter of thanks from foreign embassies," he said.
Mustafaei claimed the columnists "repeat the words of the
Israeli Prime Minister on Iran and justify the Zionist crimes
against our fellow people in Qana," an apparent reference to
the Israeli attack on Qana, Lebanon that resulted in tens of
civilian deaths. He said Iran "realized that such irregular
opinions do not represent the Kuwaiti people" and that "the
wise Kuwaiti leadership does not accept such cheap pens."
Mustafaei concluded by emphasizing that Iran-Kuwait relations
were in their "golden era."

2. (SBU) The Kuwaiti Journalists Syndicate reacted strongly
to Mustafaei's comments. In a statement issued October 29,
the syndicate called on Mustafaei to apologize, saying he had
violated "the boundaries of diplomatic and media etiquette"
and noting that "freedom of expression is guaranteed by the
Kuwaiti constitution." Several columnists also sharply
criticized Mustafaei for his statements. Columnist Fuad
Al-Hashim called on the Foreign Minister to declare Mustafaei
persona non grata and sent back to "the oasis of democracy
(sarcasm) in the Islamic Republic where half of the
journalists are in prison and the other half are rubber
stamps." Mustafaei later qualified his statements, saying he
did not intend to insult all Kuwaiti press and was referring
only to "one writer who declared that he had received a
letter of thanks from the American administration for abusing
Iran."

********************************************* *
For more reporting from Embassy Kuwait, visit:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/kuwait/?cable s

Visit Kuwait's Classified Website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/kuwait/
********************************************* *
LeBaron

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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