Deputy FM: Iran-Venezuela Ties Threaten U.S., Entire World

Reports of financial and military ties between Venezuela and Iran have raised U.S. concern, who is closely monitoring Iran's activities in Latin America.

Haaretz Service
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Haaretz Service

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon warned Monday that Iran's ties with Venezuela posed a threat to the entire world, and in particular the United States.

"Venezuela is Irans advance outpost on the Latin American continent. The two countries have joined together to create an axis of conventional and nuclear terror [that threatens] not only the Middle East, but also the continent of America, and the United States in particular," Ayalon told a group of some two dozen journalists from Latin American countries.

Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon Credit: Hagai Ofan

The deputy foreign minister said that Iran was the main problem threatening world peace, and stressed that the coming year would be a decisive one in dealing with country's attempt to become a nuclear power.

Ayalon also referred to Palestinian efforts to increase diplomatic warfare against Israel on international fronts, including its efforts to achieve recognition of a Palestinian state without an agreement with Israel.

Last month, sources in Latin America told Haaretz that a border incident between Costa Rica and Nicaragua, and military pressure placed on Costa Rica, a country without an army, are the first step in a plan formulated by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, with funding and assistance from Iran, to create a substitute for the strategically and economically important Panama Canal.

The plan has aroused concern in Washington, and the U.S. has begun behind the scenes efforts to foil such a move.

Sources in Latin America consider these events, and the power demonstrated by Nicaragua, as a trial balloon by the creators of the "New Canal Plan" – Venezuela, Iran and Nicaragua. Western intelligence agencies are closely following the path of heavy machinery equipment to Nicaragua as well as the activities of Iranians in the Nicaraguan capital Managua.

Earlier this year, increasingly anti-Semitic commentary in Venezuela's state-sponsored media prompted the heads of the country's Jewish community to request an urgent meeting with President Hugo Chavez.

The verbal and written attacks have included hints that Jews are damaging the country's economy, and follow the style of the notorious anti-Semitic fabrication, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion."

Meanwhile, Argentina and Uruguay announced last week that they intend to join Brazil in recognizing an independent Palestinian state, provoking sharp criticism from Israel. The announcements by the three Latin American countries came as Middle East peace talks were on a hiatus since the temporary settlement freeze ended in late September.

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