December 19, 2007
The next time someone tells you that the State Department's NIE report shows how unnecessary the Bush Administration concerns about Iran have been, you may want to show them this information about Iran's growing involvement in South and Central America.
This story goes back to at least last year, when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Venezuela. Conapri.org, the Investment :Council of Venezuela, stated in September 2006 that there was a partnership in new drilling between Venezuela and the Iranian oil company Petroparts.
In April 2007, the business website Goliath
http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-6446253/IRAN-IRAN-S-PETROPARS-TO.html#abstract stated that the Iranian state petroleum company, Petropars, would offer Venezuela drilling services. It is realistic to assume that means Iranian personnel on site in Venezuela. The Tehran Times confirms this in an archived article's title from April 17, 2007 ("Iran's Petropars to offer Venezuela drilling services"). The full article won't print out, at least for my US based computer.
Most recently, this week the San Antonio Express News states that
"As part of a new partnership with Nicaragua's Sandinista President Daniel Ortega, Iran and its Venezuelan allies plan to help finance a $350 million deep-water port at Monkey Point on the wild Caribbean shore, and then plow a connecting "dry canal" corridor of pipelines, rails and highways across the country to the populous Pacific Ocean. Iran recently established an embassy in Nicaragua's capital.
In feeling threatened by Iran's ambitions, the people of Monkey Point have powerful company. The Iranians' arrival in Nicaragua comes as the Bush administration and some European allies hold the threat of war over Iran to force an end to its uranium enrichment program and alleged help to anti-U.S. insurgents in Iraq.
What worries state department officials, former national security officials and counterterrorism researchers is that, if attacked, Iran could stage strikes on American or allied interests from Nicaragua, deploying the Iranian terrorist group Hezbollah and Revolutionary Guard operatives already in Latin America. Bellicose threats by Iran's clerical leadership to hit American interests worldwide if attacked, by design or not, heighten the anxiety."
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And, after the article speculates about stepped-up espionage activity in the area, it further states,
"From the street outside, through the wire at just the right angle, can be seen the top half of the distinctive red, white and green flag of Iran. This is the temporary embassy of Iran's new envoy to Nicaragua, Akbar Esmaeil-Pour.
The envoy, however, hasn't been in a talking mood lately, since local media stirred just the sort of questions that fuel Yankee fears. Last month, the country's largest-circulation newspaper, La Prensa, published leaked government documents that showed Nicaragua's chief immigration minister personally authorized 21 Iranian men to enter the country, without visas that would have left a record.
Officials denied the report until confronted with the document but refused to explain why the men were let in that way or what became of them.
Another report named as Revolutionary Guard operatives several men who accompanied the Iranian envoy to his new digs. A Honduran newspaper in June reported that Iranians had entered that country without permission from Nicaragua."
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Tim Birdnow adds to this last news report:
"The Iranians could hit the Continental U.S. with their missiles from Nicaragua. The Shahab 5 has a range of over 2000 miles http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/iran/missile/ and if Herb Myer`s (former author of the NIE during the Reagan Administration and the first man to predict the fall of the Soviet Union while at the CIA) suspicion is right and the Iranians already have a nuclear weapon, this whole business is SERIOUS; they`re planning to tie a nuclear noose around our necks!"
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Combine this with an early 2007 UPI report of Venezuela planning to purchase "up to a dozen Tor-M1 surface-to-air missile systems" from Russia http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Top_News/2007/01/30/venezuela_planning_missile_purchase/3980/ and you have the beginning stages of some serious concern.
"Final Note and Disclosure:
Further research was supplied by Mr. David Havanich Jr., cofounder and President of Diversified Energy Group (www.degoil.com), a private US energy company. Mr. Havanich is a former US Marine who served in Desert Storm in 1991. Full Disclosure: Jack Kemp is a longtime and current investor in Diversified Energy Group."
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