Tag Archives: Gas Exporting Countries Forum

Seeking to Expand South American Terror Network, Iran Now Targeting Bolivia

Iran is deepening its outreach to Bolivia, one of several countries in the Western hemisphere that Iran seems set on establishing as footholds. An Iranian news agency this week celebrated recent efforts:

In a Monday meeting with his Bolivian counterpart Evo Morales on the sidelines of the summit of Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) in Russia, President Ahmadinejad underlined the significance of solidarity among independent nations and governments against “bullying powers”. “The development and consolidation of ties with independent nations, in particular Latin American ones, is among the definite and strategic policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Ahmadinejad said. Iran and Bolivia enjoy brotherly relations and follow great objectives, which require them to further enhance and strengthen their ties, he added.

Bolivia is not unique. A recent State Department report outlined Iranian efforts across South America. Terrorism expert Matthew Levitt emphasized that the report not only documented Iran’s continuing efforts “to expand its presence and bilateral relationships with countries like Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela,” but also the infiltration of “a network of intelligence agents specifically tasked with sponsoring and executing terrorist attacks in the Western Hemisphere.”

Iran’s South American infiltration is critical to Tehran’s efforts to launch terrorist attacks on U.S. soil:

In Latin America, Iran’s strategy ran on parallel tracks: Argentina in the south, Guyana in the north and several countries in between. Perhaps most surprising to U.S. readers is that Iran’s Guyana cell planned and very nearly executed the 2007 plot to blow up natural-gas lines under JFK Airport in New York City, bragging it would surpass 9/11 in devastation. While Iran’s involvement in the funding and planning of the attack are documented in court filings in the case, in which two people were convicted and sentenced to life in prison, it was barely mentioned either by U.S. prosecutors or the media covering the trial.

The activities of Iran’s different government agencies, from the ministries of foreign affairs to its intelligence structure to its cultural centers and mosques all play a role in exporting the Iranian revolution. Nisman lays out the role of each part of the government, as well as Hezbollah, acting as Iran’s proxy.

Ahmadinejad to head to Russia for gas conference, Syria talks

AFP, Tehran

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will attend next week’s summit of the world’s biggest gas suppliers in Moscow and also hold talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, the foreign ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.

“Ahmadinejad will travel to Russia next week to attend the Gas Exporting Countries Forum and hold talks with Mr Putin,” ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi told reporters.

Araqchi said Ahmadinejad will discuss a number of issues, including the situation in conflict-stricken Syria.

Both Tehran and Moscow have staunchly backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the more than two-year conflict that has claimed nearly 100,000 lives.

According to the GECF website, the meeting will be held in Moscow on Monday, the second such meeting in two years.

Leaders of the world’s biggest gas suppliers ended their first summit in Doha in 2011 by reiterating the need for a fair gas price.

GECF has been working for a fair price for gas but denies it aims to control prices or become a cartel like the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Gas prices are currently determined either in long-term contracts between sellers and buyers, which some exporters index to oil, or on spot markets.

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