Israel condemns that the Iranian regime uses Venezuela as its base of operations in Latin America

Iran’s influence in Latin America has grown rapidly since Hugo Chávez came to power in Venezuela in 1999. Currently, it is a close ally of both the Chavista regime and Nicaragua, Cuba and Bolivia. this Wednesday The Israeli military published a report detailing relations between Tehran and those governments in the region.

“Why are Iranian weapons displayed in military parades in Latin America?”; Some of the questions asked in the report are, “Why would the Iranian regime be interested in such a distant country?”

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) explain that the Islamic Republic has two interests in increasing its presence in a country like Venezuela: its proximity to the United States, and the financial opportunities for drug trafficking in South America.

Both regimes received dozens of international sanctions due to human rights violations committed by them. However, both Tehran and Caracas have created an extensive network to circumvent these measures. Thus, in June 2022, Nicolas Maduro and Ibrahim Raisi, the Presidents of Venezuela and Iran, signed a 20-year association agreement to promote cooperation between the two countries.

Nicolas Maduro and Ibrahim Raisi extended cooperation agreements between Venezuela and Iran (Miraflores Palace/Handout via Reuters)

According to Israel, deep enmity with America Prompted Venezuela and Iran to find “common ground for cooperation”. Between 2000 and 2012, dozens of diplomatic visits led to hundreds of agreements in energy, tourism, agriculture, engineering and defence, among other sectors.

In 2012, Iran’s investments and loans to Venezuela were valued at $15 billion. Until then, Persian regime sent oil and gas to CaracasAs well as civilian resources such as cars and military infrastructure such as drones.

That strategic partnership continued to grow in subsequent years. Following last year’s signing of an agreement between Maduro and Raisi, Bilateral trade reached $3,000 to $20,000 million.

“Because of its proximity to the United States, Iran uses Venezuela as its base of operations in South America. “Iran delivers weapons to Venezuela by air and sea that are very capable of reaching American territory,” points out the Israeli military, which cites Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles as an example. Mohajer 6Which was displayed during a recent military parade in Venezuela.

Similarly, Israeli security forces warned that Iranian Zolfagher ships equipped with anti-ship missiles are currently off the coast of northwestern Venezuela: “Although these ships are not designed to go very far out to sea, But the missiles they carry. “Iran turned Venezuela into a land bridge for extensive South American drug trafficking networks into countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia and Mexico.”

For its part, Israel once again noted sending agents of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah terrorists to create financial opportunities abroad “to locally finance its global terrorist machinery.”

In this regard, the IDF reminded that in 2018, Hezbollah’s regional treasurer was detained at the triple border between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. Asad Ahmed Barakat, a key figure in the terrorist group’s structure of drug trafficking and money laundering. He was also the major financier of the deadliest terrorist attack in the history of Latin America: 1994 attack on the Jewish Community Center (AMIA) in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

A hangar of Iranian drones has been stored at an undetermined location in the country (Iranian Army/West Asia News Agency/Handout via Reuters)

“Although Venezuela is 11,000 kilometers away from the Middle East, Iran and Venezuela consider themselves part of the same team, allowing Iran to threaten the United States from closer and providing Iran with the opportunity to expand its presence in the region. Could.

The Israeli military says the Venezuela-Iran alliance is part of Iran’s axis of terror and its continuing efforts to destabilize the Western world.

But Iranian influence in the region does not end on Venezuelan soil. Iranian President last year Raisi visited Cuba and Nicaragua Working on strengthening Iran’s relations with its other allies in Latin America.

Even after the signing of the military agreement between Iran and Bolivia last year, there was increased concern in the region. The alliance, which will alert the region, envisages strategic cooperation in key sectors such as health, education, agriculture and telecommunications. The agreement also includes Transfer of unmanned aircraft to Bolivian territory for border surveillance, as is already happening in VenezuelaThe main partner of the Persians in the region.

A few days ago, during the Seventh Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Forum of Gas Exporting Countries held in Algeria, the Presidents of Bolivia and Iran Luis Arce and Raisi promised to intensify their bilateral cooperation.

The Bolivian government party, the Movement Towards Socialism, has had very close relations with the Iranian regime since Evo Morales’ first term in office in 2006. This friendship included a lengthy visit by former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the Bolivian region in 2012, and the opening of an Iranian television channel, which has since broadcast Muslim propaganda. Relations were disrupted during the interim presidency of Jeanine Anez but Arce reestablished ties once he took office in November 2020.

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