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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Iran, Olympics, Nideast, Eu; Berlin

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RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHRL #1242/01 2781329
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 051329Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5382
INFO RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUCNFRG/FRG COLLECTIVE
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 1595
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0298
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0819
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2336
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1345
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0528
RHMFIUU/HQ USAFE RAMSTEIN AB GE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE//J5 DIRECTORATE (MC)//
RHMFISS/CDRUSAREUR HEIDELBERG GE
RUKAAKC/UDITDUSAREUR HEIDELBERG GE

UNCLAS BERLIN 001242

STATE FOR INR/R/MR, EUR/PAPD, EUR/PPA, EUR/CE, INR/EUC, INR/P,
SECDEF FOR USDP/ISA/DSAA, DIA FOR DC-4A

VIENNA FOR CSBM, CSCE, PAA

"PERISHABLE INFORMATION -- DO NOT SERVICE"

SIPDIS

E.0. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR KPAO IR US XF EU
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: IRAN, OLYMPICS, NIDEAST, EU; Berlin

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. (Iran) Nuclear Conflict
3. (Olympics) Impact on Obama Administration
4. (Mideast) Goldstone Report
5. (Ireland) Aftermath of Irish Vote On Lisbon Treaty

1. Lead Stories Summary

Print media lead with the coalition talks between the CDU/CSU and
the
FDP (FAZ), Iran's ability to build the bomb (Sueddeutsche), the
conflict on who should become the new finance minister (Die Welt),
and
an interview with Bundesbank President Axel Weber (Handelsblatt).
Editorials focused on Irish approval to the Lisbon Treaty, coalition

talks and Iran's ability to build an atomic weapon. ZDF-TV's early

evening newscast heute and ARD-TV's early evening newscast
Tagesschau
opened with reports on the upcoming coalition talks.

2. (Iran) Nuclear Conflict

Sddeutsche (10/05) led under the headline "Iran can build a nuclear

weapon," and notes in its intro that, "according to an internal
document of the IAEA, Iran has the necessary knowledge to build a
nuclear weapon. This is the result of an analysis of documents from

various secret services." The paper editorialized: "It is too early

to speak of a breakthrough because it remains unclear whether Tehran

will do what its negotiators promised. However, after years of
standstill, the Geneva talks with Iran presented a prospect for an
exit from the nuclear dispute.... Iran insists on the right to
enrich
uranium. The West could allow this to the Iranians - but only if
Iran
stores this material in a third country and processes it there into

fuel rods. Another condition is that Iran allows comprehensive
inspections as envisaged by the NPT."

Frankfurter Allgemeine (10/05) editorialized on the front-page: "The

Islamic Republic of Iran does not seem to be interested in being
further internationally isolated. This is how we have to interpret

the recent U-turn in Tehran, which happened after the recently
successful talks in Geneva on the Iranian nuclear program....
Tehran
has apparently realized that it would lose supporters who were in
the
past less inclined to impose sanctions than Washington if it
continues
its recent policy.... If the development continues to go in this
direction, ElBaradei was right to stick to the conviction that the
conflict can be resolved diplomatically... In the U.S., however,
the
mistrust is bigger than in Europe. For good reason--since Iran is
also working on developing long-range missiles."

Die Welt (10/05) opined: "Is the Tehran elite tired of its
international isolation after years of pursuing obstructive and
confrontational policies? It is more likely that the mullah regime

cannot buy fuel for its plant on the world market because of
existing
sanctions. The offer to enrich uranium under international
oversight
came in handy. There is no reason to be hopeful."

3. (Olympics) Impact on Obama Administration

Since Saturday Germany celebrated the Day of German Unity, there
were
no newspapers. However, a few papers carried online reports on the

IOC's decision to award Rio with the Olympic Games 2016. FAZ online

carried the headline "Slap for Obama" and characterized losing the
Olympics to Rio as an "embarrassing defeat." Sueddeutsche online:
"Crash for Obama," Welt online: "Chicago and Obama in shock,"
Tagesspiegel: "Barack out of luck." Spiegel online is reporting how

Republicans in the U.S. have attempted to exploit the outcome for
political advantage.

Welt am Sonntag (10/04) carried a news report headlined: "Olympic
Affront Against Obama" and wrote: "The IOC awarded Rio with the
summer
games in 2016 and affronts the U.S. president.... On his return
flight
from Copenhagen, President Obama had to swallow the most bitter pill

of his presidency. After the first run-off elections IOC head
Jacques
Rogge had to announce the Chicago was eliminated with only 18 votes
of
the available 94 votes. Obama owes his defeat to the miserable
international standing of his most important sports functionaries.

For years, the National U.S. Olympic Committee has fallen by the
wayside. It does not even have an IOC board member. Too late and
in
a too recalcitrant way, the U.S. Olympic Committee approved an
amendment to the restrictive contract from those times when almost
all
IOC sponsors came from the United States. Now the Americans were
punished for the fact that only in 2020 a new distribution formula
[for the funds the IOC earns] will be applied."

In an editorial under the headline: "Obama's First Rejection," Welt
am
Sonntag noted: "This is painful defeat for Barack Obama. It will
have
a lasting effect that the charismatic U.S. president was unable to
win
with his greatest trump card: the suggestion the he could give the
United States a totally new face abroad. For a politician who
attaches great significance to symbols, such symbolic failures could

have devastating consequences. At home he has almost reached the
normal status of a controversial politician and in foreign policy he

may not yet have achieved clear successes, but...with his
international
charm-offensives, which have always been accompanied with glorious
pictures, the expectations of his fellow Americans that their
country
will now be received with open arms everywhere in the world has
increased tremendously. If the United States is now being rejected

during such a comparably minor occasion, the insult to national
pride
is now all the greater."

Under the headline: "United States, We Don't Like You!," FAZ
Sonntagszeitung (10/04) reported: "President Obama flew to
Copenhagen
for five hours, delivered a speech and shook numerous hands, only to

be snubbed a few hours later by an accumulation of former sports
professionals, aristocrats, VIPs and sport functionaries. The
sobering conclusion of the President's brief visit: with all his
charisma, the President only managed to get a picture in the photo
album of the IOC members. One of the messages from the IOC members

following the election result is: U.S., we do not like you.... In
addition, there is a sound reason for all IOC functionaries, to be
critical towards the National U.S. Olympic Committee. Due to an
old,
unlimited contract, the USOC receives the same share in Olympic
income
as all other 204 IOC members together. Only with great difficulty,

the IOC succeeded in wrestling the concessions from the USOC to take

over a higher share in Olympic costs and to approve new negotiations

about this contract in 2013. But these concessions were obviously
too
small."

4. (Mideast) Goldstone Report

"Setback for the Peace Process," is the headline in die tageszeitung

(10/05), which editorialized: "Under pressure from the United
States,
the UN Human Rights Council has postponed a decision on accepting
the
report of the Goldstone Commission on the crimes committed during
the
most recent Gaza War. This is a bitter setback for efforts to
finally
end the impunity for human rights violations and violations of
international law in the Middle East. The reort of the UN fact-
finding commission would offer the best possible basis for such
efforts. The allegation of the Obama administration that the
acceptance of the report would jeopardize the peace process between

Israelis and Palestinians is simply wrong. It is not the
documentation and prosecution of serious human rights violations
that
jeopardize peace, but the ongoing impunity and the lack of justice
are
escalating the conflict and preventing a peaceful solution."

5. (Ireland) Aftermath of Irish Vote On Lisbon Treaty

Deutschlandfunk 10/03) commented: "The nail-baiting over the basis
of
the European Union is not over yet... The Lisbon Treaty now depends
on
the signature of only one person, the Czech president. This is not
a
comforting prospect. Klaus likes playing the role of single man who

fights against the rest of the world. The Euro-skeptic loves it
when
everybody focuses on him. The situation is therefore dangerous for
the European Union. Klaus's rejection of the Czech ratification
document has nothing to do with democracy. This is the one-man show

of an anti-European.... As a result, the EU faces a dilemma even
though the Irish said yes.... Only the Czechs and Czech politicians
can
bring their president to his senses.... The EU remains the
community of
27 countries in which every single one of them can apply on the
emergency brakes. This is sad, maybe even tragic. However, the
wrangling over the Lisbon Treaty shows that many citizens cannot
cope
with a more deeply integrated Europe."

Frankfurter Allgemeine (10/04) carried an editorial on its front
page:
""The remarkable clarity of the Irish "yes" indicates the depth of
Irish angst. Until the international financial crisis broke out,
leading to the collapse of the Irish property market, the Irish
believed that Europe, which boosted its economic growth, was good
enough as it was.... With the approval of the Lisbon Treaty by the

Irish, the British conservatives are now running into
difficulties...
The Irish yes makes it likely that the treaty will come into force
by
the time Cameron's Tories have won the elections next spring...
Also
the British people are unsure and reconsider the old issue of
replacing the pound by the euro. The Irish yes could give this a
boost."

Sddeutsche Zeitung (10/05) editorialized: "The Irish "yes" is the
last stone in the new foundation of the European reform. It
prevents
Europe from collapsing and plunging into political insignificance.

And it offers Europe the opportunity to influence international
policies.... The EU has proven to the world that it can reform
itself.
It must now show determination to take action. The first
opportunity
is the nomination of the first EU Council president and the upgraded

representative for foreign and security policies."

Die Welt (10/05) remarked in an editorial: "The Irish yes is an
improvement and increases the pressure on the Czechs and the Poles.

Warsaw, which feels neglected by its American patron, will think
twice
whether it wants to be left alone in Europe. The same is true for
the
Czechs, whose president, Klaus, embodies their resistance. His
concerns are legitimate, but it would also be legitimate by the
larger
EU countries to make clear to Prague what it means if one small
country blocks the process. The Czech Republic cannot be interested

in a two-speed Europe."

Berliner Zeitung (10/05) rejected this view, saying in an analytical

piece: "The 26 EU countries must not exert pressure on Klaus because

this poses the risk that the stubborn EU skeptic could become more
popular at home. However, the Czechs themselves could put pressure
on
their president."

FT Deutschland (10/05) editorialized: "Klaus pretends to defend
national sovereignty, but he actually pushes aside the will of the
people by dubiously bending the rules. He remained popular for a
simple reason: the Czechs, traumatized by occupation, like it when
their president provokes Brussels. Europeans would be well-advised
if
they calmly watch the ratification process in the Czech Republic and

do not express threats towards Prague. This would not just further

stir up the president who is obsessed with his image, it would also

strengthen the feeling among the people that the EU is a patronizing

and oppressing apparatus."
MURPHY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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