Despite the terror, the Argentinean government seems to be getting closer and closer to the regime in Tehran every day. For some; this is too much. Marcos Aguinas, the famous Argentinian author has come out strongly against these irresponsible ‘Chavez-esque’ moves.
(My Spanish readers will enjoy this: http://www.youtube.com/watchv=qcYB9Ch_wuc&feature=youtu.be)
According to my sources, this little interview was actually banned by the authorities.
Let us recall that in 1994, a bomb exploded in Buenos Aires killing 85 people and injuring hundreds. Eventually, in October 2006, prosecutors Alberto Nisman and Marcelo Martínez Burgos officially blamed the government of Iran for ordering and directing the bombing, while accusing the Islamic Republic’s proxy Hezbollah for the execution of the crime. (See this BBC piece from 2006).
All the while, Iran’s soft war continues (see previous posts here and here) and while there are lone voices warning the Argentinean government, the media front remains relatively quiet – despite President Obama’s commendable signature on The Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act.
The Washington Times highlighted this important section of the new law:
“Reports of Iranian intelligence agents being implicated in Hezbollah-linked activities since the early 1990s suggest direct Iranian government support of Hezbollah activities in the Tri-Border Area of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, and in the past decade, Iran has dramatically increased its diplomatic missions to Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Argentina, and Brazil,” the law states.
Iran clearly views South America as fertile ground for recruitment.
The Jawa Report (a website described by the Boston Globe as a “popular website that monitors terrorism investigations”) reported that:
“The Islamic Republic of Iran, represented by elements and individuals linked to the IRGC and answering to Ayatollah Khamenei, are building on their success elsewhere in Latin American, with a move into Peru. This has been going on for two or three years, and involves known IRGC operatives, local recruits, training/indoctrination trips to Qom, the bank rolling of local political organizations, and the establishment of an Iran-Peru “cultural” mission.“
David Roberts recently penned an opinion piece in Business News Americas focusing on Washington’s concern “that Iran, which has opened five new embassies in Latin America since 2005 and now has 11, along with 17 cultural centers, is becoming too close to countries such as Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Cuba.”
While Roberts warns that we should not get carried away with this heightened level of activism, he should perhaps take a leaf out of Canada’s book. The Islamic Republic is not looking for mere friendship. They recruit for their hard and soft wars, those wars for which the Argentinean government appears to forgive and forget – far too easily.
When are we going to see some serious investigative reporting about the Buenos Aires-Tehran rapprochement?