DE RUEHBU #1886/01 2351600
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 231600Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5639
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001886
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: MIDDLE EAST: IRAN; HEZBOLLAH F}"/fqEcQ funding; security coordination
at the Tri-Border area; Argentina's decision to return to the
Non-Aligned Movement after 25 years, and Argentina's new nuclear
2. OPINION PIECES AND KEY STORIES
Claudio Mario Aliscioni, leading "Clarin" international columnist,
writes (08/23) "... In fact, Tehran emerged stronger from the recent
Middle East war due to its links with Hizbollah, which managed to
keep Israel's military power in check and led to U.S. impotence.
Now, Iran seems to speculate with two conditions: for one part, war
enabled it to buy the time it needs to complete its nuclear program
without complications. On the other hand, it is aware that Lebanon's
fiasco posed limits to its enemies, which work in its favor. These
limits, of course, lead to the following question: if Tehran refuses
to stop its program, will the U.S. or Israel dare to declare war on
- "Serious: If Sanctioned Iran Will Bow Out of Global Nuclear
A front-page editorial in business-financial "Ambito Financiero"
reads (08/23) "The escalation of the conflict surrounding Iran's
nuclear program is mounting. Yesterday, Tehran's offer to the
international community of a 'serious dialogue' instead of fully
canceling its uranium enrichment process in exchange for incentives,
looks more like an attempt to delay the issue even further. The idea
of the Islamic regime is to take advantage of the usual differences
between the U.S., Russia and China at the UN. Nevertheless, the UNSC
gave Iran an ultimatum, following which sanctions appear inevitable.
If this occurs, Tehran might break away from international controls
and move forward - without restrictions - towards a plan suspected
of having aggressive military goals."
- "GOA to Invest 3.5 Billion Dollars to Re-launch Nuclear Plan"
Antonio Rossi, leading "Clarin" political columnist, says (08/23)
"the GOA will announce today the plan aimed at reactivating its
nuclear sector with the purpose of concluding the Atucha II plant
and kicking off plans for the construction of a fourth atomic plant,
as well as the resumption of the production of enriched uranium,
interrupted in the '80's.
".... The plan will imply a 3.5 billion-dollar investment in the
next eight years and will create at least 6,000 jobs. It will focus
on the reactivation of two strategic issues: the generation of
electricity and the development of nuclear technology applications
and services in the health, industry and scientific sectors.
".... The official decision to resume its nuclear program is based
on both political and economic issues. On the economic side, there's
a need to seek alternate energy sources, and, politically, the GOA
wants to return to the international arena in a highly sensitive
sector, which will supply important revenues in the sale of
equipment and services to those States that do not have nuclear
".... The story points out that, of all its measures, the one that
is more likely to spark growing concern and possible short-circuits
with the U.S. is the reactivation of the uranium enrichment plant.
However, Energy authorities believe there won't be any problems with
the U.S. administration because all activities will take place under
the umbrella of the agreement signed with Canada and the Atomic
Energy of Canada Limited, which work closely with the U.S., under
its strict rules and supervision."
- "Chavez-Castro Influence: Argentina Returns to 'Non-Aligned'"
Carlos Pagni, business-financial "Ambito Financiero" political
columnist, writes (08/23) "Argentina will again be part of the
Non-Aligned Movement, like it did between 1973 and 1991, when
President Menem decided to pull Argentina out of the organization.
The decision, made at the MFA's Bureau of International
Organizations, was approved and lies on Foreign Minister Taiana's
desk. Argentina's UN representative will request the Cuban
ambassador an invitation for an Argentine delegation to participate
in the up-coming Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Havana, which will
take place on September 11.
".... This decision has several explanations: first, the desire to
participate in the G-15 summit that will also take place in Havana
between September 11 and 13, to discuss economic issues of
peripheral countries, in addition to the summit of the Non-Aligned.
But this is a poor excuse, because other G-15 members decided this
participation isn't necessary.
".... Beyond other pretexts, Ambito notes the euphemism beneath
'Non-alignment' since its creation in 1955: anti-imperialism
understood as 'opposition to the U.S.'
".... The Menem administration decided Argentina's withdrawal from
the Non-aligned Movement after forcing the rejection of several of
his proposals inspired in classic Liberal principles, such as
freedom of the press... And this decision to pull out was viewed by
many as a present to Washington's 'carnal relations'.
".... Although the Non-Aligned Movement lost its original meaning
with the end of the Cold War and the fall of real socialism, it
emphasized its subliminal message: its militant anti-U.S. position.
In addition, Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia are there too, but not the
other Mercosur countries. The club has turned into a group that
strongly defends nationalistic and left-wing views, and, is above
all, pro-Arab in the Middle East conflict. Also, among the proposals
that will be voted at the Havana summit, is an endorsement of Iran's
"Argentina's reincorporation, at least as an observer, allows
Kirchner to achieve three simultaneous goals. First: he's able to
mark a difference with former President Menem; second, he can please
those who support his rapprochement with Castro, Morales and
Chavez... and third, he wants to recruit votes to discuss the
Malvinas issue at the UNSC...."
- "Hezbollah's Millions Arrive Daily in Suitcases"
Silvia Pisani, on special assignment in Bourg el Barajineh, Lebanan,
for "La Nacion," writes (08/23) "With brown plastic bags full of
bills, the so-called Party of G-d breaks all records on political
payment: no less than 10 million dollars a day and in cash, directly
to the pockets of those Lebanese that suffered in the war.
"Other sources pointed to, consistently, Iran as the principal
source of the funds...
"... Druse leader Wallid Jumblat admitted to "La Nacion" that there
is no way to control Hezbollah's money. 'If someone finds a way to
investigate it, they should let me know.'
"In sum, in a few months, will be about one billion dollars in cash
- "More Coordination at the Tri-Border Area"
An editorial in leading "Clarin" reads (08/23) "... The Tri-Border
Area is a region where, in the past years, there has been a notable
increase in trade activities without an efficacious control, where
the line that separates legality from illegality is weak, and there
are other activities taking place that might affect the security of
"However, for a long time, governments sharing the same border
haven't paid enough attention to the problem, allowing it to become
"In 2002, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and the U.S. created the '3+1'
group, aimed at reinforcing security in the region, and, for the
last ten years, the so-called Tri-Border's Tripartite Command has
been working in Foz de Iguazu, in order to coordinate control of the
"Now, the recent creation of the Regional Intelligence Center is
aimed at meeting the same international concerns, but also, solving
the countries' own security flaws in that strategic border area."
To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
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