Tehran Goes Latin; Washington Now Worries Iran Is Helping Hizbullah Set Up Shop in Central and South America, but Local Governments Are Unimpressed by the Claims

Newsweek International, February 5, 2007 | Go to article overview

Tehran Goes Latin; Washington Now Worries Iran Is Helping Hizbullah Set Up Shop in Central and South America, but Local Governments Are Unimpressed by the Claims


Byline: Joseph Contreras

When Iran's firebrand president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, chose to visit three Latin American capitals earlier this month, there's little doubt he meant his trip to irritate the Great Satan to the north. Sure enough, it had just that effect; "Iran's track record does not suggest it wishes to play a constructive role in the hemisphere," said Eric Watnik, a U.S. State Department spokesman. But U.S. officials are worried about more than just Tehran's diplomacy these days. They fear that Iran might one day help its terrorist proxy, Hizbullah, set up shop throughout the United States' backyard. Indeed, Latin America could be emerging as a quiet new front in the war on terror. So far, however, most regional governments remain unmoved by Washington's requests that they clamp down, and the controversy could further damage some already fragile relationships.

The lawless tri-border region, where Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay meet, has long been a suspected locus for Hizbullah fund-raising, although the State Department continues to rate the threat of terror strikes as low in most of these countries. Last month U.S. Treasury officials issued a statement describing in detail how an established Hizbullah network, based in Ciudad del Este in eastern Paraguay, has sent millions of dollars to the terrorist group over the past two years. The report also fingered nine Lebanese men--most of whom hold Paraguayan or Brazilian passports--it claimed were running the operation.

Latin America is home to between 3 million and 6 million Muslims, many of whose forefathers came from Syria and Lebanon in the 19th century. They settled largely in Brazil (which now has more than 1.5 million Muslims), Argentina (which has 700,000), Venezuela and Colombia. The region is no stranger to terror operations allegedly bearing Tehran's stamp.. In November, an Argentine judge issued arrest warrants for Iran's ex-president, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, and eight of his associates for complicity in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people. An Argentine prosecutor has traced the planning for that operation to a 1993 meeting in the Iranian city of Mashhad. But Iran has denied the charges and said it would ignore any extradition requests from the government of President Nestor Kirchner. The case has yet to produce a single conviction and remains a sore point with Kirchner, who two weeks ago abruptly canceled plans to attend the Inauguration of Ecuador's new president, Rafael Correa, when he learned that Ahmadinejad would be there.

Sources in U.S. military intelligence have also identified Islamic radicals in the Brazilian cities of Sao Paolo and Curitiba, the Colombian town of Maicao, the Dutch Antilles island of Curacao and the Chilean free port of Iquique, where one of Hizbullah's fund-raisers traveled frequently to raise cash. The mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, spent some time in Brazil in 1995, and another Qaeda operative named Adnan G. al-Shukrijumah visited Panama in 2001 while traveling on a passport issued by Trinidad and Tobago. Dozens of missionaries belonging to a Pakistani-based Islamic organization called Jamaat al-Tabligh are dispatched to the region each year in search of converts. "The bottom line is that there are Islamic radical groups throughout Latin America and the Caribbean and not just in the tri-border area," says a U. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Tehran Goes Latin; Washington Now Worries Iran Is Helping Hizbullah Set Up Shop in Central and South America, but Local Governments Are Unimpressed by the Claims
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.