Cablegate: Media Reaction: Iran's Nuclear Program; 2/10/10; Buenos
DE RUEHBU #0162/01 0411918
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O R 101917Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0504
INFO RHMCSUU/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000162
STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC, WHA/EPSC, CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KPAO KMDR PREL AR IR
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: IRAN'S NUCLEAR PROGRAM; 2/10/10; BUENOS
1. Argentine media coverage of Iran's nuclear program on 2/10
shifted from covering U.S. and French efforts to sanction Iran to
the response from Russia, China, and Brazil. Articles were
positive towards Russia's possible support of international
sanctions, but also gave a lot of weight to neighboring Brazil's
desire to continue diplomatic talks. Second-largest daily La
Nacion printed two opinion articles regarding Iran's domestic
turmoil and how sanctions may not work. End summary.
REACTION FROM THE EMERGING POWERS
2. Conservative daily Ambito Financiero published an article
combining various newswires focusing on China, Russia, and Brazil's
reactions. The article highlights Russian Security Council chief's
comments that for the first time, "Russia has doubts about [Iran's]
peaceful use of atomic energy." However, the article mentions that
yet again, China and Brazil were "the exception" to international
fear over Iran's motives, quoting Brazilian Foreign Minister saying
Brazil "does not want Iran to have nuclear arms" but that Iran "has
the right to a peaceful [nuclear] program."
3. Left-leaning Buenos Aires Economico had a small article
regarding Brazilian President Lula "supporting dialogue with Iran"
instead of sanctions, quoting the Brazilian Foreign Minister saying
that Brazil has a "tradition of solving items through dialogue."
In contrast, the article notes that Italian Prime Minister
Berlusconi labeled President Ahmadinejad a "poisonous man" on his
trip last week to Israel.
4. Centrist Critica's Jerusalem correspondent described how
Iran's announcement "unleashed a wave of criticism from the UN
Security Council and Israel." The article notes that even Russia,
"reluctant to move from diplomacy to punishment" due to its
business interests in Iran, is "running out of patience" and moved
towards sanctions. President Obama is quoted in the article
desiring an "important regiment of sanctions."
5. Largest circulation daily Clarin printed an Agence
France-Presse (AFP) newswire about Iran "renewing its challenges
towards the West" and the various international reactions,
including from China and Brazil. An article from Britain's The
Independent appeared in left-leaning Pagina 12 claiming that while
experts "doubt" Iran can enrich uranium to 20%, Iranian President
Ahmadinejad "continues betting" that conflict with the West will
give him domestic political gain.
ANALYZING THE IRANIAN CONFLICT
6. Carlos Escude wrote an opinion article in second-largest daily
La Nacion highlighting Iran as focal point in an "unstable world"
and how sanctions may not be useful. Escude opines that the U.S.
needs to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb, but that it is
"difficult to imagine" that happening without "unsettling Russia
and China." Additionally, while cutting off Iran's import of
gasoline would be "the only economic sanction" to make Iran
"reverse its suspicious nuclear policy," it only takes "one
important country to break the embargo and neutralize the
7. Former Argentina Ambassador to the UN Emilio Cardenas also
wrote an opinion article in La Nacion about how the domestic
turmoil within Iran is an economic struggle at its root. With
Iranian religious institutions ("Bonyad") controlling at least 60%
of the economy, the only control private citizens have is in the
services sector. However, this sector is slowly being invaded by
Bonyad, which is "plagued by subsidies, price controls, and
corruption." In addition, the state can invoke religious reasons
"to shut off dissent and protests," and thus "assume the role of
God's spokesperson...with whom no one can object."
To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our classified website