Pentagon Worried About Iranian “Interference” In Latin America

Pentagon Worried About Iranian “Interference” In Latin America

By Dialogo
January 27, 2009

US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said today that he is more concerned about Iranian ‎activities in Latin America, which he considered “interference,” than about the Russian ‎army’s maneuvers in that region. ‎ For the first time, Gates appeared before the Senate as Chief of Pentagon as part of ‎Barack Obama’s administration, and is expected to appear before the House of ‎Representatives to present the new administration’s security and defense plans. ‎ As congressmen asked about strategic relations in Latin America, the Defense Secretary ‎said he was concerned about the links Iran is establishing with some of the countries in ‎that region. ‎ ‎“I am concerned about the level of subversive activity that Iran is carrying on in some ‎countries in Latin America, especially those in South and Central America,” he said. ‎ Gates said that Iran “is opening many offices and many fronts, behind which they ‎interfere with the events taking place in some of those countries.” ‎ On the other hand, he did not consider the Russian Army’s maneuvers, which have been ‎carried out jointly with nations like Venezuela, to be a threat. The Secretary also said that Russia made clear that it “has some capacities,” stating that ‎those were the first maneuvers outside of the country in a decade, and that they do not ‎represent a concern for the United States. ‎ ‎ Gates said that if Russia had not taken the offensive against Georgia last August, they ‎would have invited the Russian vessels to dock in Miami, “where they would have had ‎more fun than in Caracas.”
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