News / Americas

Venezuela's Chavez Built Ties With Iran

Venezuela's Chavez Built Ties With Irani
X
March 06, 2013
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, who died Tuesday, developed a close relationship with the leaders of Iran, despite Western sanctions on Tehran because of its controversial nuclear program. Chavez and Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmedinejad visited each other, and called themselves allies, friends and even brothers. It was a friendship that was watched closely by many countries, especially the United States. VOA’s Amy Katz brings us this report, by Liliana Henao and Jerome Socolovsky, in Washington.

Venezuela's Chavez Built Ties With Iran

TEXT SIZE - +
Liliana HenaoJerome Socolovsky
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, who died Tuesday, developed a close relationship with the leaders of Iran, despite Western sanctions on Tehran because of its controversial nuclear program. Chavez and Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmedinejad visited each other, and called themselves allies, friends and even brothers. It was a friendship that was watched closely by many countries, especially the United States.

The relationship between Iran and Venezuela began in the 1960s, in the early days of OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. But it was during Hugo Chavez’s presidency that strong ties were formed.

Iran’s nuclear program was a catalyst. Iran says its nuclear aims are peaceful; the West fears it is developing weapons.

In the face of international sanctions, Iran turned to Venezuela, one of its few allies, to break its diplomatic isolation, find new strategic resources, and undermine U.S. influence.

“In Venezuela, the PDVSA, the national oil company of Venezuela, continues to have relations with Iran in ways that break the embargo, that is the sanctions that the United Nations has imposed because of the Iranian nuclear program,” said Christopher Sabatini, with Americas Society/Council of the Americas.

Since the 1980s, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah faction in Lebanon has expanded its operations in Latin America, primarily fundraising, through ties to the illegal trade in drugs and pirated goods. The U.S. considers Hezbollah a terrorist organization.

In Latin America, Chávez’s Venezuela and other anti-American governments opened their arms to Hezbollah and Iran.

“State sponsors of terrorism - Iran is included in that list. And so we are looking at how Iran is gaining influence in the Americas, through instruments of, in particular, economic power,” said Celina Reauyo, National Defense University.

The two countries also signed bilateral accords and created committees on cultural and educational cooperation. Some regional analysts saw them as another Iranian tool for gaining influence in the region.

"If you recall the attacks in 1992 and 1994 on the Israeli Embassy and the Jewish cultural center [in Buenos Aires, Argentina], there had been ‘cultural’ cooperation for 10 years before the attacks. There was a cultural center run by Iranian diplomats, who were doing the same sorts of things: bilateral accords and intercultural exchanges,” said Joseph Humire, of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation.

While close ties between Tehran and Caracas have been useful to both countries, with Chavez’s death, that much-watched political romance, may well be set to change, as Tehran loses a key supporter.

Jerome Socolovsky

Jerome Socolovsky is the award-winning religion correspondent for the Voice of America, based in Washington. He reports on the rapidly changing faith landscape of the United States, including interfaith issues, secularization and non-affiliation trends and the growth of immigrant congregations.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Henry Eaglechild from: Blaine, WA
March 09, 2013 2:45 PM
This is wishful thinking by the UN-ited States of America.. for the world is now aware of Nixon's petrodollar warfare, against those nations other than the $audis...!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid

More Americas News

As Fires Die Down, Chileans Return to Ravaged Valparaiso

Many of victims in the city, part gritty port and part colorful retreat, were poor people in houses perched high on the city's remote hills
More

Kidnapped Venezuelan Journalist Freed

Globovision television journalist Nairobi Pinto was freed in city of Cua, 8 days after being kidnapped near her home in Caracas
More

Canada Taxpayer Data Stolen in Heartbleed Breach

Private information of about 900 people stolen from nation's computer systems as result of vulnerabilities
More

Photogallery At Least 12 Killed in Chile Fire

President declares state of emergency as firefighters battle blaze in port city of Valparaiso
More

36 Killed in Fiery Mexico Bus Crash

Four people reportedly injured in fire which erupted after the vehicle crashed into a broken down truck
More

Huge Fire Burns in Chile's Historic Port City

Firefighters struggle to contain blaze in Valparaiso, which so far has killed 16 people and destroyed 500 homes
More