Iran in Latin America, Post-Chavez

Argentina’s controversial agreement with Iran disappeared long ago from the western media radar screen, but it continues to kick and scream in Latin America. The death of Chavez – who made 13 visits to Iran from 1999 to his death, and hosted Iran’s president six times since 2005 – is the perfect time to catch up on developments.

For those who missed it: in the past few weeks the two houses of  Argentine’s parliament approved the agreement , leaving the next move for the Iranian parliament. Emotions have continued to run high around the agreement, with the media loyal to its task of reflecting the positions of both sides – not all entirely level-headed, as demonstrated by this  and this
As the Argentine government works hard to advance the agreement, not every expression of support appears logicial. For example, this Reuters item updates that:
Amnesty International in Argentina praised the agreement on Thursday, saying that “although it does not guarantee in any way the success of the investigation, it creates an opportunity to move forward towards justice and reparations for the victims.”
Amnesty international? Is it possible that its Buenos Aires branch is totally unaware of the campaign by international bodies against the flagrant human rights violations committed by Tehran as a matter of policy? Perhaps they should leaf through the latest report  by the Human Right Council’s Special Rapproteur on Iran, colorfully summarized by the headline of this Daily Beast report l: “A Busy Iranian Regime: Torturing and Executing Prisoners,  and Persecuting Women, Gays and Religious Minorities.”
As the drama plays out, we’ve also noticed some fairly transparent media activity by pro-Iranian platforms. Why transparent? Well, maybe because most of them appeared on the exact same date – February 15 (we’ll let readers search for them on their own).
From below ground some important issues have surfaced. For example, during a heated debate in the Argentine Congress a member of the opposition revealed a $5.9 million nuclear reactor material sale to Iran in 2008, to which the foreign minister replied : “Sometimes we make mistakes.”
Furthermore, one of the suspected perpetrators of the AMIA bombing –  former Iranian intelligence minister Ali Falahian – has announced his intention to run for president of Iran in its June election
It gets worse: allegations have been raised of secret missile cooperation between Argentina and Venezuela  , which maintains an intimate strategic relationship with Tehran.
It seems to us that this is an issue that warrants regular media scrutiny: it isn’t going away anytime soon, and carries with it weighty significance outside of Argentina. This CNN report  of life after Chavez seems to nail the matter quite nicely:

“Why does the U.S. want better relations?

One reason analysts point to is Iran.

The U.S. may seek Venezuela’s help in imposing sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program, senior American officials said.

Iran and Venezuela have close relations.

Last year, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad traveled to Venezuela as part of a tour of Latin America. The two leaders vowed to work together.

Over the years, the two nations have signed more than 270 accords, including trade deals and agreements on construction projects, car and tractor factories, energy initiatives and banking programs.”

Food for thought.

Blogging & updating on #Iran related news- focusing on Politics, Human Rights & the Iranian nuclear Program. Followed by top Middle East Analysts, Reportes & think tanks.

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One comment on “Iran in Latin America, Post-Chavez
  1. […] a while since the English-language media left the AMIA crisis for other pastures. We think a quick update is in order; with everything else happening, the […]

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