U.S. Says Iran Increasing Activity In Latin America




 
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Boots
 
March 18th, 2009  
Team Infidel
 
 

Topic: U.S. Says Iran Increasing Activity In Latin America


Reuters.com
March 17, 2009
By David Morgan, Reuters
WASHINGTON -- Iran is increasing its activity in Latin America and the Caribbean, including actions aimed at supporting the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, a top U.S. military commander said on Tuesday.
Navy Admiral James Stavridis, who oversees U.S. military interests in the region as head of U.S. Southern Command, also said Hezbollah was linked to drug-trafficking in Colombia.
"We have seen... an increase in a wide level of activity by the Iranian government in this region," Stavridis told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
"That is a concern principally because of the connections between the government of Iran, which is a state sponsor of terrorism, and Hezbollah," he said.
The U.S. State Department lists the Lebanese-based political and military movement as a terrorist organization.
Stavridis said Hezbollah activities in South America have been concentrated particularly in the border region between Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, but also in Colombia.
"We have been seeing in Colombia a direct connection between Hezbollah activity and narco-trafficking activity," the commander added, without providing specifics.
Colombia said last October that it had smashed a drug and money-laundering ring suspected of shipping funds to Hezbollah.
Hezbollah has denied links to drugs and money-laundering and described allegations as part of a propaganda campaign aimed at harming its image.
President Barack Obama's administration has sought to move toward dialogue with Tehran, despite sharp differences on several topics including Iran's nuclear program. Iran says it only wants to generate power while the Washington and its allies accuse Tehran of trying to build a nuclear bomb.
Stavridis is the latest U.S. defense official to express concerns about Iranian influence in Latin America, where the left-wing governments in Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Bolivia have all become allies of Iran in recent years.
In January, Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the same Senate panel he was more worried about Iranian "meddling" than he was about Russia's activities in Latin America.
March 18th, 2009  
Canuck
 
The Iranians are Persians, not Arabs. They have an interesting history. During my visits to Iran I found a very interesting dichotomy between shall we say, the academics / educated strata of their society and the supporters of an Islamic Republic.
If you take the sophistication of their culture and blend in the Islamic fundamentalists that now control Iran, you end up with and aggressive persona that looks well beyond their borders.

I shall just repeat what many before me have said. An Iran with ICBMs capable of delivering an NBC payload is not an option.

Iran has to be neutralized. They are the linchpin to the Middle East. If Iran continues on it's merry way, you can count on the end of Israel, Iraq, Saudi Arabia.

Take them out now. No country is going to risk it's existence against a definitive attack on Iran....and I don't mean a Gulf War 1 or Gulf War 2 mess.

Quick, decisive and permanent.

OK, North Korea is a wild card, but between the 2 of them do you want to see LAX or LON reduced to ashes?
March 18th, 2009  
03USMC
 
 
Some Latin American Countries have a pretty good number of Mid-Eastern immigrants or people of Mid Eastern extraction. So there maybe a base to work with. Bears keeping an eye on.
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Boots
 


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