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Cablegate: Brazil: Unwilling to Endorse Argentine Claims On

VZCZCXRO9898
RR RUEHRG
DE RUEHBR #2262/01 3461406
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 121406Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0630
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 6443
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 5162
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 7476
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 5550
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 1302
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 BRASILIA 002262

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

FOR WHA, WHA/BSC, AND S/CT

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/11/2027
TAGS: PTER PGOV PREL BR AR
SUBJECT: BRAZIL: UNWILLING TO ENDORSE ARGENTINE CLAIMS ON
AMIA

REF: A. (A) BUENOS AIRES 002222
B. (B) BRASILIA 002070
C. (C) BUENOS AIRES 000520

Classified By: DEPUTY CHIEF OF MISSION PHIL CHICOLA FOR REASONS 1.4 B A
ND D

1. (S) Summary: With its abstention on the vote to confirm
issuance of international capture notices for five Iranian
nationals and one Lebanese suspected of involvement in the
1994 terrorist attack in Buenos Aires at the Interpol General
Assembly session on November 7 the Government of Brazil has
now twice refused to take a formal and public position on the
Argentine case, likely due to extreme sensitivities over
Argentine allegations that some support for the attack may
have been provided by individuals in the Triborder Area of
Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil (TBA). A vote to issue the
red notices would undermine their long-standing claim that
there is no evidence of an operational terrorist presence in
Brazil. End Summary.

---------------------------
Argentine Officials Miffed
---------------------------

2. (S) In the aftermath of the Interpol General Assembly vote
to confirm the Interpol Executive Committee's decision to
issue the international capture notices, Gustavo Beguet,
Political Counselor for External Affairs and Guillermo
Devoto, Political Counselor for Internal Affairs at the
Argentine Embassy called on Poloffs to exchange thoughts on
Brazil's actions prior to and during the Interpol vote. Both
indicated that Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations
(Itamaraty) contacted the Argentine Embassy in Brasilia just
prior to the Interpol General Assembly vote, ""out of
courtesy,"" to inform the Government of Argentina that the
Brazilian delegation would abstain during the vote.
According to Beguet, Itamaraty explained that since the
Argentine case includes evidence of links between the
perpetrators of the attack and the TBA--a claim Brazil does
not acknowledge--it could not vote in favor of issuing the
notices.

---------------------------------------------
Iranian Lobbying Key to Brazil's Abstention?
---------------------------------------------

3. (S) During the meeting, Beguet offered speculation that
Iranian lobbying--he mentioned the visit of Muhammad
Nahavandian of Iran's Supreme Council for National Security
to Brazil in early September--also may have played a part in
Brazil's abstention.

4. (S) Argentine suspicions of an Iranian role go back to
Interpol's Executive Committee (EC) meeting on March 15th,
when the EC approved issuance of capture notices. The
Brazilian representative was the only EC member not to attend
the March 15 session. At the time, a source at the Argentine
Ministry of Foreign Affairs speculated Brazil may have wanted
to avoid complicating its relations with Iran (Ref C).
(Note: Post intends to follow up with various contacts on
Argentine speculation on a possible Iranian role behind
Brazil's actions. End Note.)

--------
Comment:
--------

5. (S) With two missed opportunities to back up often
repeated claims of solidarity with Argentina over the two
terrorist attacks it suffered in 1992 (Israeli Embassy
Bombing) and 1994 (AMIA Jewish Center Bombing), and a recent
string of hard questioning about the usefulness of the 3 1
mechanism, post believes Itamaraty is taking its
sensitivities with regards to the TBA to new heights. With
its initial reluctance to support reversion of the 3 1 agenda
back to its original focus on transnational criminal issues
(something which Brazil had in the past supported) Itamaraty
seems determined not to give up an inch of ground publicly to
the US on a counterterrorism issue that affects Brazil.
While working level cooperation with Brazil's law enforcement
agencies has not changed and remains productive, Itamaraty's
obstruction is starting to be felt in more than symbolic
ways.

BRASILIA 00002262 002 OF 002

Sobel

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