Iran represents a danger to the world-no doubt about it. The international community needs to stop its nuclear ambitions by any means. If Teheran goes nuclear, it will destabilize an already unstable area that will draw all of the countries into chaos-not only Israel is against it, but also Arab states like Saudi Arabia, among others.
While the US has been pushing for sanctions that will not probably prompt Ayatollah Khomeinei to stop the nuclear program; and with China hesitant to impose real harsh sanctions that will for once and all choke the economy of the country and force it to adhere to international law, or without Israel launching a pre-emptive attack-with all its consequences; Iran will become nuclear.
Furthermore there is something that is empowering and enabling Teheran from achieving success in creating its first nuke, and apparently no one in the Security Council or the State Department are keeping a critical and watchful eye on this worrying issue: the alliance of Ahmadinejad with leftist-authoritarian Presidents Chavez from Venezuela, and Morales from Bolivia.
Venezuelan Alliance: though news of the ties between these two countries have been around the media for sometime, apparently nothing has prevented from this alliance to keep ongoing, representing a clear threat to American interests in the region and the mere existence of Israel-who Ahmadinejad has wished to be “wiped off the map,” and Chavez has labeled it as a terrorist, genocidal, and murderer state, shortly after he was on the phone with Ahmadinejad.
It is important to note that Chavez has sympathy for Hamas, the terrorist organization that illegally controls the Gaza Strip and overthrew the legitimate government of Abbas there. In regards to the nuclear program, Chavez has firmly backed Iran’s desires of becoming nuclear-under the umbrella of a “peaceful nuclear program.”
In 2005, Venezuela was the only country that voted against an IAEA resolution accusing Iran for violating the law.
In 2006, Caracas signed an accord with Teheran that will allow them to explore the geology of Venezuela’s Guayana-a state with big deposits of Uranium.
In 2009, Chavez promised his “friend and ally” Ahmadinejad to send him 20,000 oil barrels per day. At the same time New York’s attorney Robert Morgenthau expressed concern for the construction of “mysterious factories” by Iranians in remote parts of Venezuela that could be used to make arms, while the Iranians use Venezuelan banks in order to evade international sanctions.
Also, it is reported that Venezuelan state-owned airline Conviasa makes dubious flights to Iran that nobody has been able to know what happens inside, or who flies them.
Bolivian Alliance: Chavez’s pupil is, without a doubt, Evo Morales, Bolivia’s President, who often mimics his master’s authoritarian way of governing. He obviously has cracked down on dissidents and independent media, and looks for greater-centralized powers as day goes by-just like Hugo. It has also been increasing ties with Iran.
In 2007 La Paz and Teheran signed an agreement in which investment and support was going to be provided to the South American nation in agriculture projects-among others-as well as sending advisory delegations and a $230 million in loans.
Morales moved Bolivia’s only embassy in the Middle East from Egypt to Iran, and visited Gaza in early 2009 where he made hostile remarks against Israel and severed relations with it.
This last August, he endorsed the Persian nation’s pursuit of what he labeled as “peaceful nuclear energy”-just a year after an Israeli intelligence report claimed that Teheran was obtaining supplies of uranium from Bolivia and Venezuela. Morales is schedule to visit Iran later this year, after he labeled Israel as a terrorist country, and assured Ahmadinejad that he will help him achieve his nuclear goals; which given its abundance in natural resource, no doubt it will be helpful.
As important as the sanctions might be, these two countries can represent a loophole in which Iran not only evades international sanctions, but also is able to find resources. If the US and its allies do not prevent this from happening, then we might see Iran going nuclear sooner than later. Caracas and La Paz represent a greater threat to peace in the Middle East than most policy-makers acknowledge.