Venezuela – Iran: Interests in Common? - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Venezuela – Iran: Interests in Common?
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Venezuela – Iran: Interests in Common?

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  1. Venezuela – Iran:Interests in Common?

  2. SIMILARITIES: Domestic Polity • Treatment of dissent • Reliance on military & revolutionary militias/ guards to intimidate opposition • Iran provides public opinion experts to assist Chavez • “Ahmadinejad is love’ • “Chavez is love” • Iranian Militias • Venezuelan Militias

  3. Use of Elections to Maintain Legitimacy • Elections controlled - IRAN • Change implied by elections unacceptable: Venezuela

  4. SHARED Interests • Counter efforts to isolate • Access to technology • Petroleum • Military • Opposition to the United States • Dislike of secular consumer culture

  5. Mutual Interest: Soften Isolation • Chavez: seven visits to Tehran since 2004 • Thirty cooperative agreements • Truck factory • Ammunition factory • Cement plant • Weekly flight Caracas – Damascus – Tehran • Venezuela expresses support for Iran’s right to develop nuclear energy

  6. Financial • Purchase of Corp Banca C.A (May 2008) • Paperwork processed in record time • Iranian Board of Directors • Circumvents embargo – allows Iran to move money around USA • Iran – Venezuela Development Bank • April 2009 -2011 • Capital begins $200 million to $1.2 Billion • Capital projects (possibly uranium mining)

  7. Military Cooperation • Iranian military advisors embedded with Venezuelan Army units since 2006 • Iranian advisors from Revolutionary Guards assist in organizing popular militias and Francisco Miranda Front • Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammed Najjar met with Venezuelan Vice President Ramon Carrizalez, (also acting defense minister) in March 2009

  8. Asymmetric Warfare: Lessons learned from Iraq • Alain Joxe: “La Guerra USA-Iraq: Imperio, guerra asimetrica y caos global • Army field manuals from period of USA cooperation burned • Asymmetric warfare adopted as official doctrine of Venezuelan military • Iranian military manuals discussing asymmetric warfare appear in Venezuela • Militias promising to mount asymmetric warfare against imperialist invaders

  9. Venezuela: facilitating Iranian ties with FARC Insurgents? • Colombian Army raid on camp of Raul Reyes (May 2008)08 • Iranian field manuals • $480,000 cash in Costa Rican safe house traced to Iran • Low grade uranium buried (30 kilos)

  10. Critical Questions • What is Iran’s capability to influence conditions/events in Venezuela – and Latin America that impact on U.S. ? • How concerned should the U.S. be with Iranian activities in Venezuela? • Ahmadinejad Welcomed in Caracas

  11. Iran & Brazil • Lula – geopolitical ambitions • Mediation on nuclear program • Economic ventures • Dilma more cautious/reserved