UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 002149
STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL MEDIA REACTION
SUBJECT: IRAN; IMF ANNUAL MEETING; US-BOLIVIAN TIES;
BOLIVIAN-VENEZUELAN ALLIANCE; ARGENTINE-VENEZUELAN TIES; ARGENTINE
PRESIDENT KIRCHNER AND FIRST LADY IN NEW YORK; 09/20/06
Â¶1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Today's leading international stories include the exchange of
accusations between the US and Iran at the UN General Assembly; the
IMF Annual Meeting; Bolivian President Evo Morales rejecting a US
report on the outcome of the struggle against drug trafficking;
Morales' acknowledgement that Venezuela will build two military
bases in Bolivia; Argentina's ties with Venezuela; Argentine
President Kirchner and his wife's visit to New York; and Thailand's
military coup d'etat against PM Shinawatra.
Â¶2. OPINION PIECES
- "Exchange of Accusations between Iran and the US at the UN"
Leonardo Mindez, on special assignment in Washington for leading
"Clarin," writes (09/19) "The two of them were in the same building
but they avoided meeting face to face. Even so, US President George
Â¶W. Bush and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad conveyed clear
public messages to continue feeding the mounting tension between
their two administrations. The US President reiterated at the UN
General Assembly that 'Iran should relinquish its nuclear
ambitions.' The Iranian president responded 'all our nuclear
activity is transparent and peaceful.'
"During his 21-minute morning speech, Bush made it clear that he has
no doubts that Iran wants to develop nuclear weapons, he insisted on
a diplomatic suspension of Iran's (nuclear) program, and asserted
that he 'does not have any objection to Iran pursuing a real nuclear
program with peaceful purposes.' Although 20 days have passed since
the UN deadline for the ultimatum imposed on Iran to stop its
nuclear program, the truth is that the US has not obtained (and it
is not likely to obtain soon) the support of the other permanent
members of the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on the Tehran
Marcelo Cantelmi, international editor of leading "Clarin," opines
(09/20) "Ever since the US launched its antiterrorist war, the
scenario has not revealed expected medals of victory.
"The US won in Afghanistan through its initial assault, but it lost
ground as time went by. It easily triumphed in Iraq, although its
troops are now 'splashing in a swamp' only waiting for the moment to
leave. Among other serious regional shortfalls, the diplomacy that
accompanied said venture did not build the necessary bridges (like
the dialogue with Syria) and paved the way for an expansion to Iran.
"Tehran's fundamentalist government has taken advantage of all this
background. Confronting the US has facilitated things for Iran,
which seems immune to the war rhetoric that it faces."
- "Evo rejects US 'interference' on drugs"
Business-financial "El Cronista" reports (09/20) "Bolivian President
Evo Morales harshly rejected yesterday the US report on the outcome
of the struggle against drug trafficking and he expressed his
'concern' about Washington's 'interference' in the Andean country.
"... The Bolivian president defended the policy of gradual reduction
(not eradication, as wanted by Washington) of
coca crops, and he said the Bush administration should acknowledge
"The new clash happened now that the Commander of the US Southern
Army, General Ken Keen, is in Bolivia."
- "Regional concern over Evo-Chavez alliance"
Business-financial, center-right "InfoBae" reports (09/20) "Bolivian
President Evo Morales acknowledged yesterday in the US that
Venezuela will build two military bases in his country. The decision
has engendered surprise and concern in the rest of the hemisphere.
"... The decision has unleashed concern all over the hemisphere due
to fears of an arms race in the region..., particularly bearing in
mind the permanent threat posed by the Triple Border...
"While the US closely watches this area, Evo Morales is attempting
to challenge the military balance in the hemisphere."
- "Chavez concerns the Jewish community more than anti-Semitic
Eduardo van der Kooy, political columnist of leading "Clarin,"
comments (09/20) "... The Jewish community's concern about
anti-Semitic episodes is true, but its main concern is Kirchner's
relationship with Hugo Chavez and Chavez' close ties with the Tehran
"... The international Jewish community is concerned about one of
the vital aspects of Kirchner's foreign policy - his ties with
Caracas... Kirchner's ties with Chavez have been fruitful for the
President in terms of financing and they helped alleviate the energy
crisis. However, it has some costs now."
- "Energy - US corporations call for clearer rules for investment"
Business-financial "El Cronista" front-pages (09/20) "In New York,
Argentine Minister Julio De Vido made a new effort to demonstrate in
front of an audience of investors (particularly from the energy
sector) that Argentina is a country offering attractive conditions
to those who dare invest in a sector with an increasing demand and
serious supply problems.
"While he asserted that the new initiatives will be profitable in
the medium term, businessmen told him that a framework of clearer
rules regarding public service rates is badly needed.
"Local businessmen in Buenos Aires fear that the frozen public
service rates could spark a new convertibility system, from which
the Government will not be able to get away."
- "Kirchner did not want to attend Bush's reception"
Martin Rodriguez Yebra, on special assignment in New York for
daily-of-record "La Nacion," comments (09/20) "For the first time in
four years, Argentine President Nestor Kirchner decided to miss the
reception offered by President George W. Bush to the heads of State
attending the UN General Assembly ceremony.
"Both presidents have not held talks ever since the Mar del Plata
Summit of the Americas.
"Since then, the US-Argentine bilateral relationship has been
frozen, according to Kirchner - who is particularly encouraged to
say this based on his disagreement about hemispheric trade
"Kirchner did listen to Bush's speech to the UN General Assembly
plenary, in which he only spoke about terrorism and made warnings to
the countries of the Middle East that are being hostile to the US.
"On the contrary, according to a source in the Argentine delegation,
the Argentine President will plead in his speech today for
multilateralism in counterbalance to hegemonic and unilateral
- "'Argentina made progress because it did not adopt a neo-liberal
Conservative "La Prensa" reports (09/20) "Senator Cristina Fernandez
stated that Argentina was able to make progress because it chose a
growth model that differed from the neo-liberal model, and it is
even opposed to the neo-liberal prescriptions that led us to
"The legislator participated in a panel on Expectations about Latin
America at the New School University of New York. Cristina Fernandez
pointed out that the Argentina of 2003 'has little to do with
today's Argentina' and she said that 'while it may not be a
paradise, figures indicate that we are on a good track.'
"In this regard, she said that, according to the National Institute
for Statistics, poverty has gone down 30%. She pointed out that the
country 'has reasonable autonomy in making decisions after having
paid off its IMF debt, as did Brazil.'"
- "IMF critical reforms"
Conservative "La Prensa" editorializes (09/19) "The IMF announced
reforms had raised expectations in emerging countries with regards
to a better distribution of duties within the institution, therefore
allowing for the participation of growing economies like
"Nonetheless, the announcements mde in the Singapore meeting
revealed that there is a strong tendency to concentrating
decision-making power on the most powerful countries, which could
increase the likelihood of discrimination in granting international
"... If efforts are not made to take into account the interests of
the most vulnerable sectors of the new international financial
system, they will remain the most harmed sectors as a result of the
policies implemented by multinational lending agencies in handling
"Implementing more equitable development processes for Latin
American countries is a challenge calling for adequate public
policies based on information that makes patent social and regional
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