Sunday 30 December 2012

Obama seeks to counter Iran-Latin American ties

Obama signs law against Iran-Latin American relations

US President Barack Obama
US President Barack Obama

US President Barack Obama has enacted a legislation aimed at countering Iran’s growing relations with the Latin American countries.


29 December, 2012

 The “Countering Iran in Western Hemisphere Act” which was signed into law on Friday, requires the State Department to develop a strategy within 180 days to “address Iran's growing hostile presence and activity” in Latin America. 
The law also incorporates a multiagency action plan in the Latin American countries in an attempt to isolate the Islamic Republic and its allies.

The US House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs subcommittee on terrorism had endorsed the legislation earlier in March.

Iran has increased the number of its embassies in Latin America from five in 2005 to 11 in 2012.

The Islamic Republic has been seeking to expand relations with Latin American countries over the past few years, describing the endeavor as one of its major foreign policy strategies.

Major Latin American nations have also enhanced their diplomatic and trade ties with Iran in recent years while their relations with the United States have been downgraded amid popular demands for an end to dependence on Washington.

Iran’s rising popularity in Latin America has raised major concerns in Washington, which regards the region as its strategic backyard and traditional sphere of influence.

On January 6, the US warned Latin American states against expanding diplomatic and business ties with Iran, expressing concern over “Iran's outreach to the Western Hemisphere.” 

Iran's ever-growing influence scares Zionist-Imperialist rulers

Rodney Shakespeare

There is PANIC in Washington. A country of only 75,000,000 people (17th in the world list), without an atomic bomb, is extending its influence!
29 December, 2012
A country surrounded by American military bases and aircraft carriers is somehow managing to break free! A country whose television and radio broadcasts are being suppressed is somehow managing to get its message through!

A country which is not attacking any other country, which is not occupying any other country, which is not dealing in drugs, which is not dealing with al Qaeda, which is not deliberately stirring up sectarian hatred, which is not bent on trapping everybody else into debt, which dares to want justice for Palestine and whose foreign policy is based on conferences and discussion rather than conflict and drones, is being honoured by others!

A country subject to economic sanctions, political sanctions and international sanctions; which is shackled, embargoed and restrained; which is hindered and prohibited, is somehow managing to trade with others! 
And it’s not dealing in dollars! And it’s running, with increasing success, the Non-Aligned Movement!
Worst of all, Iran (yes, you’ve guessed it, well done) is “pursuing cooperation with Latin American countries by signing economic and security agreements in order to create a network of diplomatic and economic relationships to lessen the blow of international sanctions and oppose Western attempts to constrict its ambitions.”

Panic! Do something

Which is why the USA has just passed into law the Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act particularly aimed at countering Iran’s growing influence in South America. This law requires the USA State Department, within 180 days, to develop a strategy to “address Iran's growing hostile presence and activity” in Latin America.

The legislation makes it clear that American policy is to counter Iran’s influence by requiring a coordinated and targeted strategy that uses all elements of national power. It charges the USA Administration to detail the presence of Iran, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Qods Force, Hezbollah, and Hamas in the Western Hemisphere.

Additionally, it calls for a plan to secure the Southwest border of the USA and prevent Iranian-backed Hezbollah or Hamas ‘terrorists’ from entering the United States. The legislation also requires the Administration to isolate Iran and its proxies from sources of financial support and report back to Congress and the American people on the progress made towards implementing the strategy.

Of course, there are problems with this. For example, much though Hezbollah no doubt dreams of conquering the Amazonian jungle, and the Qods force aspires to climbing mountains in Patagonia (don’t we all?), they are not in South America and are not known to have any ambition to go there.

Furthermore, floods of Iranian ‘terrorists’ have not passed over the (very open) Southwest border of the USA even though hundreds of thousands of Mexicans undoubtedly do. 
Indeed, in the absence of American false flag attacks (which must now be expected and at which the USA, like Israel, is adept), the Iranians are only peaceably present in South America and in very small numbers e.g. in embassies and delegations.

And, to cap it all, passing legislation “to isolate Iran and its proxies from sources of financial support” is an attempt to isolate all those countries which the USA thinks are its friends but which, increasingly, are not. For example, more and more countries are having doubts about the good faith of the USA’s continual military attacks and aggressions (the latest news is that the USA is moving troops into thirty five African countries. Since there are fifty four countries in Africa, there’s only another nineteen to go….)

So what is to be done? And do it now!

This author humbly recounts his experience at a recent conference in Beirut which, although particularly concerned with the vicious suppression in Bahrain, became a celebration of democracy and free speech and a determination to create economic and social justice. So please ask yourself this question - Could Washington or London now hold such a conference without everybody laughing their heads off?

Of course not! The USA and the UK are now recognised as the main agents of suppression and, as for economic and social justice, they can’t even get things right for their own people. 
Therefore, the advice for the USA, even though it is now paranoid and thoroughly corrupted, is that it should not panic. Rather, it should calmly and simply set about implementing the following list and then, no doubt to its surprise, it will find its influence in the world growing again (as opposed to catastrophically diminishing).

The USA should:-

• Stop attacking and occupying other countries
• Cut its military expenditure to reflect the USA’s percentage of the world’s population
• Implement social and economic justice, particularly in the USA (which has not got any)
• Announce that free speech will everywhere be upheld
• Ensure a genuine justice for Palestine (which can now, in practice, only be a non-racist one-state solution)
• Make a New Year’s Resolution to practice what it preaches.

However, nobody should hold their breath expecting that any of these things, particularly the New Year’s Resolution, is going to be implemented.

Rodney Shakespeare is a visiting Professor of Binary Economics at Trisakti University, Jakarta, Indonesia. He is a Cambridge MA, a qualified UK Barrister, a co-founder of the Global Justice Movement, a member of the Christian Council for Monetary Justice. His main website is Shakespeare is also Chair of the Committee Against Torture in Bahrain. More articles by Rodney Shakespeare

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