What lurks behind Iran’s close relationship with Venezuela?

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The Iranian effort, which has been joined by Venezuela in a joint effort to establish a strong terror base in the region, is especially palpable in countries ruled by anti-American left wing regimes such as Cuba, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Bolivia.

Nonetheless, Iran has also increased its presence in Mexico and Colombia, which are considered more U.S. friendly. The rate of the increase of Iranian personnel in Mexican and Colombian embassies were described by the New York sources as “astronomical” and as “not proportional with the embassies’ local requirements.” Some believe that this increase is in fact in preparation for subversive activity.

In an exclusive report on the Iran-Venezuela cooperation, published by news Website Newsmax, a study conducted by Israel’s Foreign Ministry is quoted as saying that 30 Iranian diplomats were dispatched to Nicaragua. A similar number was dispatched to Venezuela and other Latin American countries.

Iranian activity in Latin America is partially overt, and generally draws on local support for organizations such as the Lebanese militia Hezbollah in different areas of Latin America. The deadly terror attack at the Buenos Aires Israel Embassy in 1992 which killed 29 people, as well as the car bombing near a Buenos Aires Jewish community center which left 85 people dead in 1994, were both linked to Iranian and Hezbollah-style local cells.

During last week’s U.S. Senate hearing, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates accused Iran of “subversive activity” in Latin America, saying “I’m concerned about the level of frankly subversive activity that the Iranians are carrying on in a number of places in Latin America particularly South America and Central America,” Gates told lawmakers.
“They’re opening a lot of offices and a lot of fronts behind which they interfere in what is going on in some of these countries,” he said.

According to the UN sources, Iran is also maintaining contacts with Colombian drug smugglers and local rebel organizations, and using the smuggling routes to transfer light weaponry, ammunition and missiles to its embassies.

Source: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1060939.html

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