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Iran's Latin America push

November 9, 2008 | 10:37 am

John Kiriakou, now in the private sector, served as a CIA counter-terrorism official from 1998 to 2004. Today, he writes in Los Angeles Times Opinion about how he thinks Iran is making major diplomatic inroads into Latin America, right under Washington's nose.

It's amazing, really. Iran, after all, is regarded by most of the world as an outlaw country. Sanctions are in place on much of its military-industrial complex, and international loan guarantees are virtually impossible to come by. The Iranian economy is in tatters. Even while $100-plus oil was enriching most producers in the region, Iran's low-tech, outdated industry was barely profiting. In fact, 6% of the country's gasoline is imported.

Nevertheless, over the last year, Iran has worked diligently to expand relations with a host of Latin American countries, most of which have populist leaders who harbor a strong distrust of the United States and are looking for a powerful friend to help them rebuff Washington's influence.

Read the rest of "Iran's Latin America push" here.

— Deborah Bonello in Mexico City