UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000954
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: MEDIA REACTION; WASHINGTON-TEHRAN DISCUSSIONS; BIO-FUELS
DEBATE; CHAVEZ AND TECHINT; 05/15/07; BUENOS AIRES
Â¶1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Key international stories today include the upcoming meeting between
US and Iranian delegations to discuss Iraq; an opinion on the
bio-fuels debate; and the upcoming meeting between Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez and Paolo Rocca, head of the Techint group,
which has been named in connection with the Skanska corruption
scandal in Argentina.
Â¶2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS
- "Iran's contribution could prove crucial for the region"
Leading "Clarin" carries an opinion piece by its international
analyst Oscar Raul Cardoso, who opines (05/15) "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
confirmed yesterday that Iranian and US delegates will soon meet in
order to discuss ways to cooperate to solve (or at least soften) the
bloody chaos in Iraq. The Iranian regime has close ties to the Iraqi
Shiite majority and has long been accused by Washington of
supporting insurgents against the US-UK occupation.
"... The impossible mission of establishing some kind of dialogue
with insurgents or obtaining the people's support has condemned
occupying forces to live in a boiler, something that makes any kind
of contribution, particularly that from Iran, indispensable.
"Yesterday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced
that Iran (appears to have) solved most of its technological
problems related to uranium enrichment. According to the IAEA, more
than 1,300 centrifuge plants are operating in the Natanz facilities,
which makes more believable that uranium enrichment could soon reach
an industrial scale.
"The UN imposed two different kinds of sanctions on Iran due to this
issue (both of them, promoted by Washington), but some other
countries, such as Russia and France believe that this policy of
attempting to put a brake on the Iranian nuclear program does not
make any sense. What follows in this story is open to all kinds of
- "The false controversy on bio-fuels"
Business-financial "El Cronista" carries an opinion piece by Andres
Â¶R. Alcaraz, businessman and journalist expert in economics and
business, who penned (05/15) "Out of all the current world
controversies, the one sparked by bio-fuels... swiftly became one of
the stellar controversies, which is as fervent and ideology-driven
as it is bizarre and insignificant.
"... If the world depended on one or another source of energy
exclusively, the outcome would be world inflation because their
prices would rise much more than we have seen so far. And this would
imply much more suffering - the world economy would not be able to
avoid a tsunami of recession. Inflation is the constraint because it
makes everyone lose. Therefore, neither fossil fuels nor bio-fuels
will completely disappear from the energy matrix simply because ...
There are no longer strategic fools these days."
- "Techint expects more demands from Chavez"
Alejandro Bianchi and Horacio Riggi, economic columnists of
business-financial "El Cronista," write (05/15) "When Paolo Rocca,
President of the Techint group, arrived in Caracas, he knew that
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez... was not only going to ask him to
lower the price of iron paid by the conglomerate or to increase the
local supply of steel and seamless tubes.
"Bearing much pressure from the strongest trade union in the
country, which is asking for the nationalization of Sidor (the
Techint-controlled steel company), both parties intend to reach a
deal that will not entail a re-nationalization but that will include
much broader improvement measures, which will include labor
"... The Argentine Government takes it for granted that the issue
will be solved and is confident that Chavez will honor his word.
However, members of the government say that Chavez will take the
occasion to ask for additional and improved conditions not to
continue with his nationalization raid, such as improved labor
standards for Sidor employees, whose powerful trade union (Sutiss)
asked Chavez in writing for the nationalization (of the company)."
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