The Iran-Latin America Relationship

August 17, 2010 04:03

In the last five years, Iran’s foreign policy has shifted from Africa towards Latin America, with the goal of, as Ahmadinejad expressed to the Venezuelan ambassador in Tehran, David Velázquez, “tying up” the United States. “The notorious shift to the left of many Latin American countries during the first decade of the twenty-first century has allowed Iran to have more success in its attempt to improve relations”.

By George Chaya at The Americano

“Some European colleagues and Latin American analysts claim that Latin America’s willingness to get closer to Iran indicates the alarming extent to which the United States’ prestige has fallen in the region. Personally, I do not think that it is “alarming”, although it is true that in many South American countries American prestige is not at its high point. Taking advantage of this apparent weakness, the Iranian regime’s stated objectives are:

a) To gain the support of Latin America in counteracting the pressure from the United States and Europe to keep Iran from developing nuclear power (Remember that Venezuela and Cuba, together with Syria, were the only countries that supported the Iranian nuclear program during the February, 2006 vote at the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency).

b) Ahmadinejad wants to counterattack the United States in its own hemisphere and, perhaps, destabilize the governments of the country’s friends, with the goal of negotiating with Washington from a stronger position.

c) The unresolved economic and social problems in Iran have caused the Iranian president’s image to fall to varying degrees within his own country, and Ahmadinejad wants to demonstrate to his people that he is received as a hero abroad.”

FULL STORY by George Chaya at The Americano

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