Cable en el que Lieberman advierte sobre la presencia iraní en Bolivia y la relaciona con el uranio

Durante una gira sudamericana en 2009, el ministro de Exteriores israelí relaciona directamente el tamaño de la delegación diplomática de Irán en Bolivia con la búsqueda de uranio

ID: 220949
Date: 2009-08-14 20:49:00
Origin: 09LIMA1191
Source: Embassy Lima
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Dunno:
Destination: VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

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C O N F I D E N T I A L LIMA 001191

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/04/2019
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PINR, PTER, PE
SUBJECT: ISRAELI FM VISIT: REGIONAL TIES, IRAN, SHARED
THREATS

Classified By: Amb. P Michael McKinley for reasons 1.4b and d.

1. (C) Summary: Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman
paid an official visit to Peru in late July as part of an
extended tour through South America. According to Israeli
Embassy contacts, the Minister's main goal was to strengthen
ties with friends and partners in the region and raise
awareness of the growing Iranian presence in Venezuela and
Bolivia. In his public interventions, Lieberman focused
largely on Middle Eastern issues and Iran while underplaying
their connection to local concerns. End Summary.

2. (U) During his July 26-28 visit to Peru, Foreign Minister
Lieberman met with President Alan Garcia, Foreign Minister
Jose Antonio Garcia Belaunde, Defense Minister Rafael Ray,
and Congress President Luis Alva Castro. He also did a full
page interview in the prominent newspaper El Comercio, and
attended a dinner hosted by Peru's Jewish Community for local
notables and diplomats. The Ambassador attended the dinner,
and chatted briefly with the FM on its margins (see notes
below).

Strengthening Regional, Bilateral Ties
--------------------------------------
3. (C) Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's official
visit to Peru July 26-28 was the first by an Israeli Foreign
Minister in 23 years, according to Israeli diplomat Gali
Dagan. He described the South America tour as designed to
bolster Israel's relations beyond its traditional sphere of
concern (Europe and the US) and to diversify its foreign
policy focus beyond the Israel-Palestine issue and the
broader Middle East. Lieberman's trip included stops in
Colombia and Peru -- Israel's closest allies in South America
-- as well as Brazil and Argentina, Israel's most important
commercial partners here. Lieberman told the Ambassador that
the visits were useful in allowing him to present the
realities of Israel and described the Government of Argentina
as in crisis and in thrall to the Chavez model.

4. (C) Dagan noted that Israeli's positive relations with
Peru began with Peru's decision to support the establishment
of the state of Israel in the initial 1948 UN vote. He said
that Peru's small but influential Jewish community had
contributed to strong cultural and people-to-people ties
between the two countries. He added that Israeli trade with
and investment in Peru had grown in recent years, the latter
to $600 million, and said his government hoped this figure
would double within a few years. One of the Minister's
specific goals was to promote a Bilateral Investment Treaty,
currently under negotiation, which would help protect Israeli
investments and lay the foundation for a possible future free
trade agreement. Dagan also mentioned Israeli's security
relationship with Peru, including the recent sale of Spike
(anti-tank) missiles, but did not confirm Israel's rumors
concerning used F-16s. The FM visit also highlighted a
recent bilateral agreement to drop tourist visa requirements.

Concerns About Iran
-------------------
5. (C) The Foreign Minister emphasized the growing Iranian
presence in Venezuela and Bolivia, Dagan said. In his
meetings with GOP counterparts, FM Lieberman observed that
uncontrolled travel from Iran to Venezuela and Bolivia was
particularly worrisome because it meant that local
authorities would have no way of knowing who had entered
their countries and with what intentions. The Israeli FM
also mentioned concern about Iran's disproportionately large
diplomatic mission in Bolivia which the Israeli government
believed was connected with Iran's interest in gaining access
to Bolivia's uranium deposits.

Public Focus on Middle East
---------------------------
6. (SBU) Foreign Minister Lieberman's public comments
focused almost entirely on Middle East issues. In his dinner
speech and newspaper interview, after a nod to relations with
Peru, Lieberman spoke of the challenges to peace in the
Middle East. He said that the real conflict is not between
Israelis and Palestinians but between moderates and
extremists, and that the biggest threat faced by Arab
governments is not Israel, but Hamas, the Jihad, Hizbollah,

and the Muslim Brotherhood. He also dismissed the argument
that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are an obstacle to
peace, countering that tensions between Israelis and
Palestinians predated not only the 1967 war but also the 1948
founding of Israel. Lieberman argued that the biggest
problem in the Middle East is Iran, and warned of a regional
nuclear arms race if Iran acquires the bomb. He ended with a
call for the international community to work together to stop
radicalism everywhere in the world.

Comment: Failure to Connect
---------------------------
7. (C) Jewish community attendees at the dinner described
the speech as over-the-top but in line with Lieberman's
previous public rhetoric. One prominent Congressperson told
the Ambassador Lieberman's message appeared not directed at
Peru but to a broader international audience. Judging from
these representative reactions, it may have been helpful for
Lieberman to focus more on non-Middle East issues or to place
bilateral ties here in terms of international cooperation and
common international objectives.
MCKINLEY

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