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Ahmadinejad On ‘Dictators Tour’ Of SA

From the BBC:

Ahmadinejad to tour Latin America

By Duncan Kennedy

Saturday January 13, 2007

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is arriving in Latin America this weekend for a four-day visit that is likely to alarm Washington.

Mr Ahmadinejad will meet various leaders including President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Rafael Correa of Ecuador – both fiercely anti-American.

Venezuela has been a strong ally of Iran in its controversial pursuit of a nuclear power programme.

The trip will also include visits to Bolivia and Nicaragua.

With his eyes fixed firmly on the Middle East, the last thing President Bush wants is another hostile diplomatic front opening up in his own backyard.

But with the arrival of the Iranian president in the region, that is exactly what some commentators are predicting.

‘Alliance forged’

President Ahmadinejad’s four-day visit will take in some of the area’s most vocal anti-American critics.

They include President Hugo Chavez, newly sworn-in as leader of Venezuela, and Rafael Correa, about to be sworn in as president of Ecuador.

The Iranian leader will also meet President Evo Morales of Bolivia and President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, himself inaugurated into office this week and another one-time enemy of the United States.

The most worrying alliance for Washington is that being forged between Iran and Venezuela.

Both countries are rich in oil and both are in agreement on Teheran’s plan to build a nuclear power programme. President Ahmadinejad has previously referred to President Chavez as "my brother".

Although Washington may withstand any rhetorical onslaught dished out by this collective of opposition heads of state, it will be watching closely for any concrete measures or policies that develop – chief among them, any sign of Venezuela pursuing its own nuclear programme in conjunction with Iran.

That will be unacceptable to Washington and would turn what are now uneasy relations between the two states into something much more serious.

Mr. Ahmadinejad has a lot of friends down there now.

Not only Hugo Chavez and Rafael Correa, but all the other newly minted Communist dictators our media so steadfastly ignores — like Manuel Noriega and Evo Morales.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, January 13th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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