Iran Taking Over Latin America

For more on the assassination of Dr. Alberto Nisman, who was investigating former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s cover up of the AMIA Jewish community center terror attack in Buenos Aires in 1994, please see HERE and HERE.

And no, the absolute corruption isn’t limited to Argentina and Iran. You might want to read Kirchner’s statements on how the Obama administration attempted to persuade Argentina to give nuclear fuel to Iran. Although it’s unclear who works for who, the U.S. is currently infiltrated all the way to the top leadership.

 

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“I need you to be an intermediary with Argentina to get help for my country’s nuclear program. We need Argentina to share its nuclear technology with us. It will be impossible to advance with our program without Argentina’s cooperation.” – Iran’s former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (far left) to the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez (hugging Ahmadinejad). Shown at right is Chávez with Argentina’s former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

 

  • “This is a matter of life or death. I need you to be an intermediary with Argentina to get help for my country’s nuclear program. We need Argentina to share its nuclear technology with us. It will be impossible to advance with our program without Argentina’s cooperation.” – Iran’s former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.
  • According to Venezuelan informants, whitewashing Iran’s accused from the AMIA attack was only a secondary objective in its outreach to Argentina. The primary objective was to gain access to Argentina’s nuclear technology and materials — a goal Iran has for more than three decades.
  • During the last 32 years, Iran has achieved a resounding success in promoting an anti-US and anti-Israel message in Latin America. Its state-owned television network, HispanTV, broadcasts in Spanish 24 hours a day, seven days a week in at least 16 countries throughout the region.
  • The lifting of sanctions and influx of billions of dollars as a result of Iran’s nuclear deal will undoubtedly help Iran in Latin America, where many countries face economic turmoil and can use an Iranian “stimulus.”
  • While Latin America is often regarded as a foreign policy backwater for the United States, it is the geopolitical prize for the Islamic Republic of Iran.

During the last couple months, Iran and Saudi Arabia have been playing a political tug of war over Latin America. On November 10, 2015, Iran’s deputy foreign minister held a private meeting with ambassadors from nine Latin American countries to reaffirm the Islamic Republic’s desire to “enhance and deepen ties” with the region. This was followed by similar statements from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei at the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) in Tehran later that month.

Unfortunately for the House of Saud, in South America, they are more than thirty years behind their Persian rivals.

After the 1979 revolution, the leaders of the newfound Islamic Republic of Iran sought to change their country and the world. In 1982, Iran held an international conference of the Organization of Islamic Movements, bringing together over 380 clerics from some 70 countries around the world, including many from Latin America.[1] The purpose of this conference was to export their revolution abroad.

The next year, in 1983, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) carried out their first major international terrorist operation: the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut. This act led to the withdrawal of multinational forces from Lebanon. That same year, Iran began funding and training Hezbollah in Lebanon. 1983 is also the year the Islamic Republic began its covert operations in Latin America.

On August 27,1983, the first Iranian operative to land in Latin America touched down in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Mohsen Rabbani was not just any operative, but one of Iran’s most highly trained and dedicated intelligence officers.[2] Latin American intelligence officials have since dubbed him “the terrorist professor.”

Rabbani spent more than a decade in Argentina, creating the conditions that would allow one of Hezbollah’s biggest terrorist attacks be carried out with complete impunity: the bombing, on July 18, 1994, of the AMIA (Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina) Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires. The attack, by a suicide bomber who drove a truck packed with explosives into the AMIA building, killed 85 people and injured hundreds more. This was not even Argentina’s first encounter with Islamic terrorism; two years earlier, on March 17, 1992, the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires was also bombed.

Many of the Iranian officials who helped Rabbani carry out the AMIA attack are still important political players in the Islamic Republic.Ahmad Vahidi, who founded the feared, elite Qods Force of the IRGC and was recently the country’s Defense Minister, was prominently named in the official AMIA indictment by the Investigations Unit of the Office of the Attorney General of Argentina. Mohsen Rezai and Ali Akbar Velayti, both presidential candidates in the 2013 Iranian elections, are also prominently named in the same indictment by Argentine authorities.[3]

During the last 32 years, Iran has achieved a resounding success in promoting an anti-US and anti-Israel message in Latin America. Iran’s state-owned television network, HispanTV, broadcasts in Spanish 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in at least 16 countries throughout the region.

Formally, Iran has also doubled the number of its embassies in Latin America — from six in 2005 to eleven today.

Informally, according to U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM), Iran has established more than 80 Islamic cultural centers promoting Shi’a Islam throughout Latin America. The number represents more than a 100% increase from 2012 when, according to estimates by USSOUTHCOM, Iran only controlled 36.[4]

Most importantly, however, Iran has established an unprecedented military and intelligence footprint that extends from Tierra del Fuego, at the southern tip of Argentina, up to the Rio Grande, bordering the United States. Iran is active in every country in Latin America.

The recent election in Argentina, while providing an opportunity for the new President Mauricio Macri, does not in and of itself weaken Iran’s influence in the continent. The Islamic Republic has, for more than three decades, studied the political patterns and socioeconomic trends in the region. In several countries, Iran has a greater presence and influence than the United States.

The most noteworthy revelation from the Veja piece, however, is not whom Iran bribed and bought in Latin America, but why Iran bribed them.

According to the Venezuelan informants, whitewashing Iran’s accused from the AMIA attack was only a secondary objective in its clandestine outreach to Argentina. The primary objective was to gain access to Argentina’s nuclear technology and materials — a goal Iran has apparently desired for more than three decades.

According to the late Dr. Alberto Nisman — the special prosecutor who investigated the AMIA attack — the goal of accessing Argentina’s classified nuclear program is the reason Argentina was targeted by Iran and Hezbollah back in the early 1990’s. According to Dr. Nisman, Iran’s motivation for targeting Buenos Aires in the AMIA attack was a direct response to the Argentine government’s cancellation of nuclear cooperation agreements that had been in place between the two countries since the mid-80’s. [7]

There is a telling account in the Veja piece of a private meeting on January 13, 2007, between Iran’s then President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. In the meeting, Ahmadinejad tells Chávez:

“This is a matter of life or death. I need you to be an intermediary with Argentina to get help for my country’s nuclear program. We need Argentina to share its nuclear technology with us. It will be impossible to advance with our program without Argentina’s cooperation.”

“Impossible” is a strong word. If true, this information suggests that Iran needs Latin America to advance its highly ambitious nuclear program. For Iran, Latin America is not just a side project; the region may well be Iran’s top foreign policy priority outside of its immediate interests in the Middle East.

The untimely and mysterious death, for which no one has formally been charged, of Dr. Alberto Nisman — found shot on January 18, 2015, hours before he was to present his most recent findings before the Argentine congress — has essentially cleared the way for even greater Iranian influence in Latin America. The lifting of sanctions and influx of billions of dollars as a result of Iran’s nuclear deal with the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany) will undoubtedly help Iran in its quest for global legitimacy. It is most likely a quest easily achieved in Latin America, where many countries are facing economic turmoil and might appreciate an Iranian “stimulus.”

While Latin America is often regarded as a foreign policy backwater for the United States, it is a geopolitical prize for the Islamic Republic of Iran. Saudi Arabia may have just woken up to this fact. It is high time U.S. policymakers did the same.

Full article: Iran Taking Over Latin America (The Gatestone Institute)

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