(May 11, 2022 / JNS) While some Western democracies have tried to isolate Iran, it has retreated into the backyard of the United States. These commitments have been promoted by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards, its Al-Quds Force (which collaborates with anti-American international terrorist organizations) and by Hezbollah.
Since their overthrow of the Shah of Iran in 1979, the Iranian ayatollahs have considered Latin America, up to the US-Mexico border, as the soft underbelly of the “Great Satan”, America. Hence their intense collaboration – along with their proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas – with the main drug cartels in Mexico, Colombia and Bolivia, Latin American terrorist organizations and anti-American governments in South America. and Central America: Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia. and Chile.
In fact, the Iranian ayatollahs have helped strengthen coordination between anti-American Latin American governments. They co-led efforts to establish anti-American Latin American intelligence facilities. Additionally, they recruited Latin American terrorists, training them in Iran.
The ayatollahs view Latin America (especially Venezuela) as a hub for money laundering, circumventing financial sanctions and facilitating access to prohibited materials (e.g. tantalum mining in Bolivia, thorianite in Guyana and Suriname and uranium in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador). They also see the destabilization of Latin America and the erosion of American stature there as a top priority. They took advantage of the vast areas of lawlessness (for example, the trilateral border areas in South America and the jungles of Venezuela) and the anti-American sentiment prevalent in the region to entrench themselves further at the gates of the American continent.
The close bilateral strategic relations between the Iranian ayatollahs and the anti-American governments of South and Central America have demonstrated that an effective anti-American bloc can be established between revolutionary Islam (for example, Iran radical, theocratic and repressive Shia) and communism and radical socialism (e.g. repressive and secular Venezuela and Cuba).
Since coming to power in 1979, Iran’s ayatollahs have viewed the “Great Satan” as the main obstacle in the way of their megalomaniac goal, which transcends the Persian Gulf and the Middle East. Their goal – as evidenced by their systematic fight against American terrorism, subversion, the proliferation of ballistic technologies, school curricula, sermons in mosques and mass public processions – has been to dominate the Islamic world and subjugate the Islamic world. West, and especially the United States. .
Venezuela was one of the first countries to recognize the Ayatollahs’ takeover of Iran. The ayatollahs and Venezuela have collaborated in the development of nuclear and missile technologies, funded their activities through narcotics trafficking and money laundering, and conducted joint terrorist training. Both countries have close ties with Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists.
It is also possible that Venezuela is a source of uranium for Iran.
As New York County District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau wrote in 2009: “According to a December 2008 report by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Venezuela has approximately 50,000 tons of unmined uranium. In the field of mineral exploration, there is speculation that Venezuela could extract uranium for Iran…. a number of Iranian-owned and controlled factories have sprung up in remote and underdeveloped areas of Venezuela….
“The lack of infrastructure is compensated by what experts consider to be ideal geographical locations for the illicit production of weapons…. in December 2008, Turkish authorities detained an Iranian ship bound for Venezuela after discovering laboratory equipment capable of producing explosives packed in 22 containers marked “tractor parts…”.
“There is little reason to doubt Venezuela’s support for Ahmadinejad’s most important agenda, the development of a nuclear program and long-range missiles, and the destabilization of the region. For Iran, the lifeblood of its nuclear and weapons programs is the ability to use the international banking system to make payments for prohibited missiles and nuclear materials. Opening Venezuela’s banks to the Iranians guarantees the continued development of nuclear technology and long-range missiles…”
The Cuba-Iran connection began after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, when Fidel Castro was one of the first heads of state to recognize the anti-American regime of the Iranian ayatollahs.
Furthermore, an anti-American Russia-Cuba-Iran alliance was established to damage the stature of the United States in Latin America and to undermine American pressure on Cuba.
Marzia Giambertoni of Brown University wrote in a 2021 article for the Middle East Institute that “Iran compensated Cuba directly for allowing it to engage in electronic attacks against the United States from the Isle…. Iran has never failed to support Cuba on the international front in exchange for its intelligence services…. By the end of the 1990s, it had gone beyond mere exports to transfer medical biotechnology and, alongside technical know-how, the capabilities to develop and manufacture industrial quantities of biological weapons.
According to Professor Jaime Suchlicki, director of the Institute of Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami, the University of Miami, Tehran and Havana have a common interest in Venezuela that potentially concerns the United States. .
“Venezuela’s strategic position and considerable resources make it a potentially greater threat to U.S. interests in the region than that posed in the 1960s by the Castro regime,” Suchlicki wrote in a 2015 Foreign Police article.
“Venezuela’s alliances with Iran, Syria and other anti-American countries and its support for terrorist groups…are as formidable a challenge as the Cuba-Soviet alliance…. Iranian and Cuban personnel advise, protect and train the Venezuelan security apparatus…. Geographically, Cuba’s strategic position allowed the Islamic Republic, at least once, to clandestinely engage in electronic attacks on American telecommunications that threatened the Islamic regime’s censorship apparatus…. The jamming was attributed to a complex in the outskirts of Havana…. »
Suchlicki went on to say that the “infusion of Islamic capital” from Iran had “enhanced the stability of the Cuban regime and reduced the risk of economic collapse…”.
Cuba has also cooperated with Iran to help build a security architecture to protect Venezuela. The expeditionary arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Quds Force, worked alongside Cuban intelligence in Venezuela to consolidate the regime’s grip. Since 2005, Iran has granted 1 billion euros in loans to Cuba and is heavily involved in several projects there, including a shared intelligence station to block American radio broadcasts.
Suspending the sanctions imposed on the Iranian ayatollahs would allow them to significantly increase their support for anti-American governments and terrorist groups in Latin America, intensifying a clear and present threat to the homeland and national security of the United States.
Yoram Ettinger is a former ambassador and head of Second Thought: A US-Israel Initiative.
This article was first published by The Ettinger Report.