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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Iran, Afghanistan, Climate, Eu,

VZCZCXRO2487
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHRL #1358/01 3011444
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 281444Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5595
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 1676
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0388
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0905
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2416
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1431
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0608
RHMFIUU/HQ USAFE RAMSTEIN AB GE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE//J5 DIRECTORATE (MC)//
RHMFISS/CDRUSAREUR HEIDELBERG GE
RUKAAKC/UDITDUSAREUR HEIDELBERG GE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 BERLIN 001358

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 AF EU XF
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: IRAN, AFGHANISTAN, CLIMATE, EU,
MIDEAST;BERLIN

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. (Iran) Nuclear
3. (Afghanistan) New Strategy
4. (Environment) Climate Change
5. (EU) Future Presidency
6. (Middle East) Conflict Over Water Resources

1. Lead Stories Summary

Print media and electronic media opened with reports on the
constituent assembly of the Bundestag, the address of Bundestag
President Lammert and on the EU's climate policy (Frankfurter
Rundschau). Sueddeutsche opened with a report on the election of a
new bishop for Germany's Protestant Church. Editorials focused on
the opening of the Bundestag and on the formation of a coalition
government between the SPD and the Left Party in Brandenburg.

2. (Iran) Nuclear

"Iran is Playing a Poker Game in Nuclear Conflict," headlined
Sueddeutsche Zeitung (10/28) and wrote: " Iran obviously wants to
make considerable changes to the draft, which provides for the shipment
of fuel rods for a research reactor in Tehran if Iran delivers a great
deal of its uranium supplies for reprocessing in countries abroad.

Controversial reports of Iranian media on the likely reaction of the
Iranian leadership are indications of internal conflict."
Tagesspiegel (10/28) headlined: "Iran Has Objections To Nuclear
Compromise Deal," and reported: "Iran has objections to the latest
compromise offered in the conflict over its nuclear program. Iran's
state-run TV reported on Tuesday that the government in Tehran would
not be willing to ship its entire supply of low enriched uranium for
reprocessing abroad. French Foreign Minister Kouchner then accused
Tehran of pursuing delaying tactics. In Berlin, unease over the
behavior of the Iranian leadership is also rising. A government
official said on the sidelines of the Foreign Ministers Conference
in Luxembourg: 'All this again looks like the well-known Iranian
playing- for-time strategy.' He added: We cannot be put on an infinite
loop that does not result in any progress.'"

Frankfurter Allgemeine (10/28) wrote that "EU foreign policy
commissioner Solana said that there is no reason to make amendments
to the draft treaty, because the proposal laid down in the draft "is a
good proposal' and would not require profound changes. In the
meantime, Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan opened talks with the
Iranian leadership in Tehran. Iranian TV reported that President
Ahmadinejad thanked his guest for his criticism of Israel and for
his support of Iran's nuclear program.... Turkey's armed forces are
trying to build a protective shield against Iran's Shahab long-range
missile and want to buy an anti-missile defense system. But Turkey is
lulling itself into a false sense of security because the two neighbors
have not waged war on each other for the past quarter of a century. Bu
in view of the shift of the strategic balance in the region, Turkey is
not interested in the nuclear armament of Iran. In addition to the
nuclear program, the shipment of Iranian gas to Turkey is the second
major issue in bilateral relations. However, there is agreement
between Turkey and Iran with respect to Iraq. Both countries
support an Iraqi central state and reject a division of the country."

In an editorial, FAZ (10/28) opined under the headline: "As Always,"
that "we could have bet, after an alleged indication of concessions,
that Iran would again create confusion and play for time.... This
has been going on for years. That is why western officials should not
be surprised to find themselves again on an 'infinite loop.' We can
only be surprised at the resolve which the Turkish government has
demonstrated in supporting Tehran. The words which Iran's president
used to praise Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan and his support of
Iran's criticism of Israel, speak for themselves. Yes, it is true:

BERLIN 00001358 002 OF 004


Iran has signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty - and kept its nuclear
program secret for decades."

3. (Afghanistan) New Strategy

Electronic media led with the story, "Taliban storm the UN guest
house in Kabul" (Spiegel Online), killing several people. ARD-TV's
Morgenmagazin (10/28) noted: "Bad news from Afghanistan... The
attack was clearly connected with the planned runoff elections. A
Taliban spokesman took responsibility for the attack and referred to
recent threats that they will attack those who organize the runoff
elections. And the UN is one of the important organizers of the runoff.
Worryingly, the Taliban have followed through with many of their
threats in the past and troubling, despite the strict security
measures in the Afghan capital, they are in the position to hit at
any time and at several places simultaneously."

Regional daily MQrkische Oderzeitung (10/28) of Frankfurt on the
Oder commented: "Rarely has helplessness been greater. For weeks,
President Obama has been postponing his decision on the future
policy in Afghanistan. The generals want to drastically increase the
number of troops, but Obama tends to favor targeted hits against the
Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Both options are doomed to fail
because they are far from reality. The NATO-led ISAF mission has
already lost the battle over the hearts and minds of the Afghan people.

4. (Environment) Climate Change

Under the headline "Obama's climate protection initiatives are
insufficient," Berliner Zeitung (10/28) editorializes: "Barack Obama
has announced a green revolution to the American people and he is
working on it step by step. He has made a green expert his energy
secretary, not an oil baron, and he has launched a heavy investment
program for green technologies at the height of an economic crisis.
Yesterday, he announced plans to build smart grids and to promote
regenerative energies. These are giant steps, environmentally
speaking, for a developing country of America. This would not have
been possible under Obama's predecessor. However, concerning his
most important environmental project, the climate protection bill, he i
stuck in a deadlock. The whole world is waiting for this bill...
Only if a bill is agreed upon, will the world climate summit in
Copenhagen in December be a success. Otherwise, none of the other
countries will take measures to continue to reduce carbon emissions.
However, Obama's climate bill has been stuck in the Senate for months
and the President is already considering not traveling to Copenhagen.
If it comes to that, Obama will lose his image as a green
revolutionary. This must not happen. Obama must now take the lead."

Sddeutsche (10/28) headlined on its front page "UN head expects
failure of world climate summit," and opined: "Hardly anybody would
currently claim that the preparatory talks for the Copenhagen summit
are going well. Particularly the U.S. policy is disappointing.
Environmentalists had hoped that Barack Obama would be the new
model.
In addition, the decisions made in October have remained especially
vague: no agreement has been developed on financial aid for
developing countries to adjust to climate change or on the reduction
goals for carbon dioxide emissions. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
reduced the pressure by saying that there would probably not be an
agreement... One might call Ban Ki-moon a realist, but the man who used
to see climate change as one of his top priorities must play a differen
role - one of a moral authority who integrates people and sets deadline
for saving the world. Someone who says that Copenhagen must not
fail. Ban will not be responsible for the agreements failure, but
neither was he helpful."

Under the headline "Modest Beginning," Handelsblatt (10/28)
highlighted in an editorial: "Barack Obama decrees an electric

BERLIN 00001358 003 OF 004


change in the U.S., so he does not come to Copenhagen with empty hands.
The paper wrote: "President Obama would have liked to travel to
Copenhagen with a climate bill. However, stuck in the debate over the
heath care reform, Congress will not deal with it this year. So that
Obama does not arrive empty-handed, the White House has started a green
initiative. One of the measures is to modernize power supply
networks, as announced yesterday. This is not only intended to
create jobs, but also to raise America's ailing energy supply system to
international standards. Ecologically, the switch to smart grids
could be a big step forward.... Indeed, the U.S. approach to energy
consumption is currently careless.... Modernizing this sector is
therefore overdue - also because the U.S. will use more energy in
the future.... However, much time will be needed before Americans are
convinced that solar facilities on the roof and mini-power plants in
the cellar are the solution."

5. (EU) Future Presidency

Under the headline; "Fog on the Continent," Sueddeutsche Zeitung
(10/28) judged: "The British have hopes of securing a top position
in the EU even though they do not understand Europe. Britain's
electoral law is brutal and unfair but it leads to clear majorities.
But what is considered a domestic advantage is turning out to be a
great deficiency - especially in Europe because the European Union is a
complicated give and take construction made up of mutual favors.
Those who do not know the rules will always come off worst, such as
the British, whose political class does not understand the art of
compromise to the same degree as its European partners. The
consequences of this can now be observed with respect to British
efforts to make ex-PM Tony Blair the next Europe president or to
prevent his candidacy with tooth and nail. These efforts will have
no impact on his real chances of winning, because the European
Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council agreed
long ago that a social democrat will not get the job. Personal
experience and capabilities will not play any role, but solely the
candidate's original political leaning. Because a left-winger will
take the job of European foreign minister, a conservative politician
must become European president. It is as simple as that."

In his weekly column in Die Welt (10/28), Lord Weidenfeld argued:
"If Blair succeeded in getting the post in Brussels, he would cultivate
and strengthen transatlantic relations like no one else. Another
advantage is the fact that he, as a moderate social democrat, would
be able to produce the wanted balance between two conservative
heavyweights in Europe: Chancellor Merkel and President Sarkozy.
The list of Blair's counter candidates is short and unconvincing. One
thing is certain: Tony Blair, with his many facets, cannot be easily
ignored."

6. (Middle East) Conflict Over Water Resources

Frankfurter Allgemeine (10/28) editorialized: "The most recent
confrontation between Israel and Amnesty International again
attracts attention to the scarce commodity of water in the Middle East.
But the problem goes beyond the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and
affects the entire region, since the Middle East has always been an
extremely arid region. Syria, Jordan, and Iraq, let alone other desert
states, have known this tense situation for a long time. The conflict
over water has an even greater explosive potential than oil. Only
together will these countries be able to explore new water resources an
distribute the existing ones fairly. But this would require peace
that does not exist."

die tageszeitung (10/28) judged in an editorial: "In its latest
report on the unfair distribution of water, Amnesty International (AI)
is creating the impression that the settlers have the solution to the
drought in their hands. This is not only wrong but also totally
superfluous as they have already been criticized in view of

BERLIN 00001358 004 OF 004


infringements on their Palestinian neighbors. This unfair water
distribution affects less the settlers than the Israeli government
and the Palestinian Autonomous Authority. The distribution of water
must be settled in a peace agreement. Until then, the occupying force
is responsible for the people in the occupied territories. In the case
of the Gaza Strip, neighboring Egypt should also take on some
responsibility. At the moment, however, Israel is not doing justice
to its task and the AI report should be reason for Prime Minister
Netanyahu to change this. We must also praise AI because it is
directing its appeal not only to Israel but also to the Palestinian
Authority; and there is no doubt that it is also responsible for the
misery of Palestinians."

MURPHY

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