Israel Accuses Iran of Introducing Terrorism in Latin America With Chávez’s Support UPDATED on 12-9-11

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Israel Accuses Iran of Introducing Terrorism in Latin America With Chávez’s Support

EFE, translated by Fausta Rodríguez Wertz

Montevideo, December 6, 2011 (EFE) – Israel’s Vice-Prime Minister, Moshe Yaalon, stated today in an interview with Efe that Iran is creating, with Venezuela’s connivance, a “terrorist infrastructure” in Latin America for attempts against the United States, Israel and their allies.

“They mean to arm a terrorist infrastructure which will remain dormant, and at the right moment could attack American interests or targets in the USA,” and “Israelis, Jews, or any other country opposed to Iran’s political structure”, he stated. Yaalon, in Montevideo where he met Danilo Astori, Uruguay’s vice-president and other officials, used as an example of that hypothetical strategy the recently revealed plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the US.

He pointed out that that case, of which the US accused Iran, and which was denounced on November 18 at the UN General Assembly, is not the only one, as other past incidents show. “This type of terrorist infrastructure already acted in 1992 against the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires and the AMIA Jewish organization in 1994,” also in the Argentina’s capital.

According to Yaalon, the strategy is framed by Tehran’s plans to “export the Iranian revolution, first to neighboring states”, like Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, or the Palestinian territories, and “later to the West.”

The Vice-Prime Minister, who in the 1990s was chief of military intelligence, explained that the information available to his country reveals that in Latin America “this type of infrastructure enrolls Muslim elements that live in the area, and is also supported by drug lords.”

“It is also backed by the diplomatic immunity that Iranian diplomats have in the region,” and “especially takes advantage of the way they are welcomed by Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez, and through that, it enters the entire continent,” he denounced.

For Yaalon, “the fact that Iranian passports do not require visas to enter Venezuela”, a country which broke relations with Israel over the Gaza situation, “opens the doors to all of Latin America.”

He said that he did not have direct evidence of links between those alleged Iranian terrorists and the Colombian FARC.

The Vice-Prime Minister also stated that he does not understand why Mercosur, the economic bloc of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay (with Venezuela in the process of joining), aims to sign on December 20th a trade agreement with Palestine. “What is the special meaning of the accord between Mercosur and Palestine, when the only things Palestine exports are missiles and terrorist acts?”, he asked.

However, he reminded us that his country has that same agreement with each of the same countries separately and with the bloc, and explained that he has attempted to explain to Uruguayan authorities his views of the Middle East situation. “I hope that we can build bridges that could lead us to a common point of view on this”.

Yaalon also pointed out that the attack on the British Embassy in Tehran demonstrates that “the enemy is not the State of Israel,” but “the West, the free world.”

He also warned that Israel aims to “convince” the Iranian regime to cancel its proposed nuclear weapons program, “but if this is not possible,” will pressure Iranians to “decide if they want to create the nuclear bomb or exist as a State.”

Talking about this year’s elections in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia, he said, “democracy does not start or end with elections, but with education.”

“We were very encouraged to see people talking about freedom of expression, individual rights, women’s rights, on Egypt’s Tahrir Square. Those are democratic factors, but they were lost in the elections”, Yaahon deplored, as he compared the events with the 1979 Iranian revolution. EFE

End of translation.

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UPDATE, 12-9-11
The Venezuelan Embassy in Washington issued this comunique,

Statement

Venezuela Rejects Statements by Israel’s Vice Prime Minister

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela rejects the statements issued by Israeli Vice Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon in an interview during his visit to the sister Oriental Republic of Uruguay, in which he openly accused Venezuela of participating in plots to commit terrorist attacks.

Such abusive and tendentious statements, which come from the representative of a government that itself participates in terrorist attacks against the Arab peoples, are part of a continuous campaign of aggression against our people aimed at spreading these slanderous rumors in international media outlets, mainly in the U.S.

Additionally, these rumors are against a people, the Venezuelan people, who are playing a leading role in a peaceful, democratic and humanist revolution, and who have never used weapons to attack any people, neither create death and destruction.

On the contrary, the Bolivarian Government of President Hugo Chávez maintains and fosters deep relations of cooperation, solidarity and fraternity with all the peoples of the continent and the world, which is widely recognized by Latin American and the international community, as was demonstrated once again during the historic foundational Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

As a consequence, Venezuela denounces and rejects these plans of manipulation that serve dark interests through lies and calumnies, and ratifies that its relations with the generous government and people of Iran are based on the pursuit of peace and development.

Caracas, December 8, 2011

Ministry of People’s Power for Foreign Affairs

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