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Cablegate: Media Reaction; Iran Ties to Latin America; Imf Leadership;

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #1431/01 2051518
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 241518Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8728
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
RULGPUA/USCOMSOLANT

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001431

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
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION; IRAN TIES TO LATIN AMERICA; IMF LEADERSHIP;
07/24/07

1. SUMMARY STATEMENT

Leading international stories include Israel's concern over Iran's
growing ties to Latin America; and U.S.-Argentina concurrence on the
appointment of the next head of the IMF.

2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS

- "Israel is concerned over Iran's growing ties to Latin America"

Shlomo Slutzky, Tel Aviv-based correspondent for leading "Clarin,"
writes (07/24) "The Israeli Foreign Ministry expressed its concern
over what it considers a campaign of Iranian 'colonization' in Latin
America, which is evident in Iran's ties to President Hugo Chavez
and in the 'astronomic' number of Persian diplomats visiting Latin
American embassies.

"Sources from the Israeli Foreign Ministry expressed to 'Clarin'
their concern over the possibility that some Iranian diplomats in
Latin America are devoted to some tasks other than diplomacy, such
as forming terrorist groups that are ready to act following Tehran's
orders.

"The Foreign Ministry source pointed out that the Argentine example,
in which... Iranian diplomats are reported to have taken part in the
attacks against the Israeli Embassy and the AMIA in 1992 and 1994,
is a clear reason to fear an Iranian 'conquest' of Latin America...

"... The Government is reported to be concerned over the 'strategic
alliance' between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his
Venezuelan counterpart, Hugo Chavez...

"The Foreign Ministry denounced that, according to international
reports, Venezuela is attempting to sell uranium to Iran in order to
cooperate in developing its nuclear activity and that Caracas is
reported to have counterfeited documents of equipment exports
heading for Tehran.

"In view of this panorama, Israeli representatives in Latin American
capital cities pointed out that Iran jeopardizes world peace through
terrorism and its nuclear program.

"In bilateral conversations, several Latin American governments
shared their concern with Israel. On the contrary, according to
those reports, other countries reacted with lack of interest due to
their commercial ties to Iran and their economic need for keeping
those ties.'"

- "Long-standing and new denunciations with an attentive look at
South America"

Oscar Raul Cardoso, international analyst of leading "Clarin,"
opines (07/24) "It is understandable that for Israel the cooperation
between Venezuelan Hugo Chavez and Iranian Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is
something like a love affair with hell. However, what is unusual is
the fact that its Foreign Ministry uses the media to express its
'concern' about some political developments in South America.

"... While the gist of the Israeli complaint is not new..., some new
elements imply that Israel is convinced that there is a new front
gaining ground in South America, which is against its interests...

"... The idea that Venezuela and Iran are acting as a source of hard
currency for other countries of the region (including their joint
military cooperation for Bolivia) is another point on which those
sources insisted.

"In the same way, one cannot consider their reference to the
Tri-Border something new...

"... Let's consider new reasons for malaise - Israel perceives some
sort of Iranian diplomatic leakage on countries like Nicaragua,
Ecuador and Chile, with which Tehran has increased its commercial
ties and again with Venezuela, Mexico, Uruguay and Colombia...

"... Barak Ravid (the author of the report) hinted that the Latin
American governments which Israel has contacted with this
denunciation do not seem to have much interest, which leads Israeli
analysts to think that if the dispute over the Iranian nuclear
program escalated and paved the way for more sanctions, South
American countries would not have much of an incentive to cooperate
with the punitive measures. In fact, Tehran is transferring its
international deposits to Venezuelan banks to protect them from
future seizures.

"Nonetheless, there is an additional element that does not seem to
be included in the ministerial analysis - Israel's deteriorated

image in South America following last year's brief although
destructive war waged against Lebanon."

- "Argentina supports the US in IMF tussle"

Ana Baron, Washington-based correspondent for leading "Clarin,"
writes (07/24) "The dispute over who will succeed the current IMF
managing director, Rodrigo Rato, is 'on fire.' Europe is strongly
pressuring in favor of Frenchman Dominique Strauss Khan. However,
developing countries, led by Argentina, recalled that, as relevant
to the ongoing IMF reform, the future managing director does not
automatically have to be a European as has been the case so far, but
he should rather be appointed based on merit. In this regard,
Argentina backs the US position.

"In a communiqu signed by the Argentine Central Bank head, Martin
Redrado, the so-called G-24 emphasized that it is necessary to
implement 'an open, transparent and multilateral selection system,
now that the IMF is facing crucial challenges regarding its
relevance and feasibility,' and that the IMF's legitimacy is at
stake."

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

WAYNE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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