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U.S. eyeing Iran leader’s Latin America trip
A State Department official on Friday told The Times that reports of expanding Quds Force activities in the region could not be corroborated or confirmed, even as the department publicly called on Latin American nations to tread carefully with Iran.
Analysts say such assertions are unlikely to have an impact in Latin America, regardless of the security threat posed by a potentially nuclear Iran.
“U.S. officials can try and put pressure on these countries to go along with the sanctions and whatever they’re trying to do with Iran, whether it’s war or regime change,” said Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic Policy Research in Washington. “But I know these governments, and they’re all against that. Argentina; Brazil; Venezuela, of course; Ecuador; Bolivia - they’re just against it on principle.”
Others contend that as much as Iran may wish to show it has friends in Latin America, economic ties between the two are overblown.
“Across the board, [the] share of Latin American total exports that Iran represents is pretty minimal,” said Cynthia J. Arnson, who heads the Latin America Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Mrs. Arnson said such trade can likely be expected to continue since the U.S. sanctions regime on Iran is not the same as a full embargo.
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About the Author
Guy Taylor rejoined The Washington Times in 2011 as the State Department correspondent.
As a freelance journalist, Taylor’s work was supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and the Fund For Investigative Journalism, and his stories appeared in a variety publications, from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to Salon, Reason, Prospect Magazine of London, the Daily Star of Beirut, the ...
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