AMIA: ARGENTINA’S REQUESTS FOR HELP AT INTERPOL GENERAL ASSEMBLY

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07BUENOSAIRES2060 17 October 2007 Confidencial / No para extranjeros Embassy Buenos Aires

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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 BUENOS AIRES 002060

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NOFORN
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WHA FOR CRAIG KELLY AND CHRIS MCMULLIN
WHA/BSC FOR BRUCE FRIEDMAN, JANINA SLATTERY AND CAROLINE
CROFT
S/CT FOR DELL DAILY AND ARNOLD SIERRA
L FOR CLIFF JOHNSON
NEA FOR GORDON GRAY
DOJ FOR THOMAS MONHEIM
FBI FOR MICHAEL MASON ASST DIR CRIMINAL DIV
FBI FOR TOM FUENTES OFFICE OF INTL OPS
NSC FOR JUAN ZARATE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/19/2027
TAGS: PTER, PREL, IR, AR
SUBJECT: AMIA: ARGENTINA’S REQUESTS FOR HELP AT INTERPOL
GENERAL ASSEMBLY

REF: A. BUENOS AIRES 1991

B. BUENOS AIRES 1971

Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission TOM Kelly for reasons
1.4(b)(c)and(d)

1. (C/NF) Summary: DCM and EmbOffs met October 16 with the
Argentine government’s point man on AMIA issues, Ambassador
Guillermo Gonzalez, recently returned from meetings in Lyon
with Interpol’s secretariat. Gonzalez formally requested USG
assistance in lobbying Interpol member governments in
preparation for the November 5-8 Interpol General Assembly
(GA) meeting in Marrakech, and stressed that Argentina needed
not just positive votes in the GA but positive advocacy on
its behalf from friendly Executive Committee (EC) members and
key GA member countries. In particular, Gonzalez asked for
assistance in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Eastern
Europe, and Asia. Gonzalez confirmed that Iran has asked the
Secretary General to postpone the vote on the capture notices

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until the next General Assembly meeting. He related that the
Interpol Secretary General told him that this would have to
be taken up by the EC in its meetings in Marrakech just prior
to the GA. Noble told him it was unlikely the EC would
reverse its decision. Gonzalez, nevertheless, said that
doubt remains at the Interpol Secretariat on the possible
procedural scenarios, and he asked for USG assistance in
tracking developments in the run-up to Marrakech. He also
stated his opinion that Noble was looking for a way to
navigate the very sensitive political and legal issues and
not "humiliate" any member countries, i.e. not drive Iran
from Interpol.

2. (C/NF) Interpol told Gonzalez that an Iranian delegation
would be in Lyon this week for further discussions with the
Secretariat and that Iran would be sending a senior

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delegation to Marrakech. Gonzalez requested USG assistance
in trying to find out the composition of that delegation. He
also said that the MFA had received a diplomatic note from
Iran on October 16, regretting Argentine "unwillingness to
cooperate" with Iranian efforts to "amicably settle the
case." The note proposes a joint commission to cooperate on
legal issues leading to resolution of discrepancies on the
AMIA case. Gonzalez stated that Argentina would not agree to
any deal with the Iranians, and were determined to see the
General Assembly vote through to the end, win or lose. With
this information, Post recommends we move forward with
Department’s instruction cable to U.S. Missions. End
Summary.

3. (C/NF) DCM, A/LegAtt and PolOff met October 16 with MFA’s
AMIA lead, Ambassador Guillermo Gonzalez, and North America
Deputy Director Jose Ureta to share information and discuss
next steps in preparation for the November 5-8 Interpol
General Assembly meeting in Marrakech. Gonzalez, just back
from meetings the previous week in Lyon with Interpol’s
Secretary General Ron Noble and General Counsel Dr. Rustel

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Martha, related that the trip was useful and that the
Interpol Secretariat was receptive and friendly. Noble and
Martha did have, he said, some questions about the purpose of
Argentine President Nestor Kirchner’s UN General Assembly
speech in September, in which he admonished the GOI to
cooperate in the investigation. Gonzalez said that Nobel and
Martha were concerned that the Kirchner was shifting the case
from the judicial realm to the political — in other words,
going over Interpol’s head — and asked whether Argentina was
preparing another presentation against Iran. Gonzalez said
he assured them that Kirchner only called for Iran to
cooperate in the judicial investigation and stressed that
Argentina had only called for the GOI’s full cooperation.

Iran’s Pre-Marrakech Maneuvering

BUENOS AIR 00002060 002 OF 004


4. (C/NF) Gonzalez confirmed that Iran has requested the
Secretariat change the agenda for the Marrakech meeting,

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dropping consideration of the Argentine capture notices and
postponing the issue until the next GA "in order to develop
related cooperation." He also said that Iran had contacted
Argentina’s Interpol representative in Buenos Aires stating
its willingness to hold consultations. Noble told Gonzalez
that this was an issue the Executive Committee (EC) would
have to discuss in its meetings in Marrakech, just prior to
the GA. Noble noted, however, that it was unlikely the EC
would reverse its decision, although there were a couple of
precedents. General Counsel Martha informed Gonzalez that
Iran was sending a delegation to Lyon (the week of October
15) for further discussions with the Secretariat. Martha
also told Gonzalez that Iran was planning to send a senior
delegation to Marrakech, and Gonzalez asked the USG, perhaps
through our Interpol representative, to try and determine the
makeup of that delegation.

5. (C/NF) Gonzalez also confirmed that the MFA had received
an October 16 diplomatic note from Iran regretting
Argentina’s "unwillingness to cooperate" with Iranian efforts
to "amicably settle the case." In the note, the GOI proposes
forming a joint judicial and political commission to discuss
cooperation on legal issues leading to resolution of
discrepancies on the AMIA case. Gonzalez said this is
obviously a pre-Marrakech tactic by the GOI to show its
"flexibility." In regards to this and other recent GOI
overtures to Argentina, we asked point blank whether the
Argentines would cut a deal with the Iranians. Gonzalez
unequivocally said "no;" President Kirchner has gone out on a
limb at the UNGA on this and won’t climb back down. Gonzalez
said the GOA would rather lose the vote at the Interpol GA
than reach an accommodation with GOI on this matter.

6. (C/NF) On the mechanics of the voting, the MFA had earlier
expressed some concern about the "secret" nature of the vote,
i.e. an electronic vote that does not indicate how each
individual member vote. Gonzalez said he learned in Lyon
that there is, apparently, a procedural mechanism whereby one
of the parties could ask that there be a public vote, but
that this has never been done, and the Secretariat is unclear
on the procedures. In any case, the MFA is now leaning
towards the view that the secret vote may, in fact, work in
the GOA’s favor and is therefore not inclined at this time to
ask for a public vote. Gonzalez said that the last thing the
GOA wants to do is risk angering GA members with procedural
maneuverings. However, he also asked for USG views on the
wisdom of a secret vote (with particular interest in the
opinion of the FBI’s Thomas Fuentes, who is on the Interpol
EC). (Embassy’s LegAtt will follow up with FBI HQ on this.)

INTERPOL SECRETARIAT: SEEKING A "COMPROMISE?"


7. (C/NF) Gonzalez said he felt positive following his trip
to Lyon, but said the MFA was still concerned about Iranian
efforts to sway the vote against issuance of the capture
notices. He said that, apart from positive votes at the GA,
Argentina needs "advocates" for its position, particularly
during the EC’s meetings just prior to the GA. Here, he
said, is where U.S., Brazilian, Chilean and EU support were
crucial if Iran tries to procedurally derail the process, as
they anticipate. Noble told Gonzalez that he thought it
unlikely the EC would reverse itself, i.e., grant Iran a
one-year delay.

8. (C/NF) Gonzalez said it was also clear that Noble and the
Secretariat were looking for the best way to manage the issue

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BUENOS AIR 00002060 003 OF 004

and the vote and avoid the political fallout from unduly
"humiliating" either party. Gonzalez relayed that Interpol
General Counsel Martha told him they were concerned about
driving Iran from Interpol and the ramifications with
countries sympathetic to Iran.

Lining Up Votes: USG Assistance Required


9. (C/NF) DCM asked if the MFA had received any feedback from
its diplomatic demarches and if the MFA had any
recommendations regarding where it thought U.S. efforts might
be most effective. Gonzalez said they had heard back from
some missions but not all, and that they had received some
positive indications, both from their missions and here in
Buenos Aires. (Swedish Ambassador told Ambassador 10/17 that
EU Ambassadors had been called to the MFA later in the day
for a briefing and request for support on AMIA.) Gonzalez
was not very precise in advising us whom they think we should
target, but stressed that they needed particular help in
Africa, Eastern Europe, and Asia. He also asked for any
updated information we might have on who is likely to attend
Marrakech.

— AFRICA: Gonzalez stressed that this is where they need
the most help from the USG. In sub-Saharan Africa, the GOA
has embassies in South Africa, Angola, Kenya, and Nigeria,
and Gonzalez admitted that those missions do not have the
best contacts, especially with law enforcement agencies that
are likely to represent governments at Interpol. Gonzalez
said we have the green light to demarche as we see as
appropriate in that region — Argentina recognizes that it
needs all the help it can get, he said. (Deputy Foreign
Minister Garcia Moritan pulled Ambassador aside 10/12 to make
the same point.) The exception is South Africa. Gonzalez
said he thinks they have worked out an understanding with the
RSA, and that a U.S. demarche would be counterproductive.
The current President of the Interpol EC (and thus Chair of
the GA) is South African Jackie Selebi, with whom the
Argentines have a good relationship. Gonzalez noted that the
current RSA Ambassador to Argentina is a former aide to
Selebi. It is possible, Gonzalez said, that Selebi may not
attend Marrakech due to some ongoing legal issues he faces in
South Africa. If Selebi does not chair the GA, the European
representative from Italy, Rodolfo Ronconi, would chair, a
situation that would also suit Argentina, Gonzalez said.

— MIDDLE EAST: Gonzalez stated that U.S. demarches in places
like Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Jordan, Egypt, and the
Gulf States could help. In many of those states, the GOA
does not have diplomatic representation. He noted that we
would know better than the GOA where we could help and where
we couldn’t.

— WESTERN EUROPE: Gonzalez said he believed they have the
votes from Western Europe. They are also asking the French,
British, and Germans for help with African countries, and
would not mind the USG reinforcing the message with these
three governments.

— EASTERN EUROPE: Gonzalez admitted that the Argentine
presence in Eastern Europe is weak, and that the USG has
influence with governments in the region, from the Caucasus
to the Balkans to the Baltic. U.S. demarches to the
governments in this region would be useful.

— RUSSIA AND CIS: Gonzalez said that the GOA is concerned
about how Russia, and by extension some of its former
republics, would vote given its position in the current
showdown on Iranian nuclear proliferation. He noted,
however, that Russia votes responsibly on terrorism issues in

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international fora. Gonzalez relayed that Russian Vice
Foreign Minister Aleksandr Losyukov will be in Buenos Aires
October 23, providing the MFA an opportunity to lobby the GOR
for support. Gonzalez opined that he did not expect us to be
able to influence Moscow on this Iran-related issue.

— BRAZIL/CHILE: Brazil, in particular, and Chile are the
key in region, Gonzalez said. Both hold EC seats and Brazil
has influence in Africa, especially with Lusophone states.
Gonzalez explained that Itamaraty has been very positive with
them, but some of the Brazilian police contacts had been more
circumspect. GOA said they would appreciate us "not
overdoing it with the Brazilians," but perhaps reinforcing to
them that "this is a serious effort with U.S. support, not
another screwed-up Argentine misadventure." He continued
that the U.S could also ask whether Brazil was willing to
intercede with Lusophone Africa on the Argentines’ behalf.
Chile, he noted, was strongly supportive of Argentina’s
position and is being particularly helpful.

— THE BOLIVARIAN BLOC: Gonzalez said they would not ask the
USG to approach Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, or Ecuador.
He stated that the GOA had no information that Venezuela was
advocating on Iran’s behalf, and noted that the BRV "was
doing the GOA the favor of staying out of this issue," much
to the GOA’s relief. Gonzalez noted that Venezuela often did
not attend GA meetings and hoped that that Bolivia would not
attend either, but was concerned on this score given
Ahmadinajad’s recent visit to Bolivia.

— REST OF LATIN AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN: The rest of Latin
America, Gonzalez said, "should vote the right way," and
stated the U.S. likely did not need to demarche. Jamaica,
Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago will likely attend
Marrakech, stated Gonzalez, and vote with Argentina. He said
he was worried that smaller Caribbean states receiving oil
from Venezuela may be asked to travel to Marrakech and vote
for Iran, but said he had no evidence that this would
actually happen. He said the GOA would not mind the U.S.
approaching these countries if we determined it would be
helpful.

— ASIA: Gonzalez said he had no clue about who might attend
Marrakech from Asia or how the Asian countries might vote.
Gonzalez asked us for assistance in determining which Asian
countries are going to Marrakech and how they might vote.

NEXT STEPS


10. (C/NF) DCM told Gonzalez that, with the GOA’s go-ahead,
Washington will instruct U.S. missions, in countries it is
deemed beneficial, to approach host governments and/or
appropriate agencies. DCM also noted that the annual
conference of U.S. Legal Attaches was taking place this week
in Washington, providing an opportunity for them to be
briefed on the issue, compare notes, and decide how to lobby
host governments on AMIA before Marrakech. Gonzalez
expressed the GOA’s deep appreciation for USG support and
efforts, and agreed that this was the best approach.

Comment


11. We come away from this meeting with the sense that the
GOA’s MFA is trying as best it knows how to prevail. At the
same time, Gonzales’s lack of precision in counting votes
made it more clear than ever that to prevail against Iran on
AMIA, Argentina will need help from sympathetic governments,
starting with us.
WAYNE