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Trouble in America’s Backyard?

Samara Greenberg

According to Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman, Iran’s presence is rapidly growing in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua through its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah. This, of course, increases the likelihood for new terror attacks in America’s “backyard.”

Just last month, Israeli President Shimon Peres warned of an Iranian-Hezbollah operations haven in the “tri-border area” between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. According to Israeli intelligence, Iran and Hezbollah are trading drugs, diamonds and arms inside the South American countries to finance terrorist activities.

Venezuela, under strongman Hugo Chavez, has long been an ally of both Iran and Hezbollah, while fully supporting Iran’s nuclear program. As Luis Fleischman notes in the winter 2009 issue of inFOCUS, Iran may now be returning the favor by helping Venezuela build its own uranium production facilities. If completed, it could lead to a nuclear arms race in South America.