By Jim Kouri
Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi announced during the weekend that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad began his low-key tour of Latin American countries, according to a report obtained by the Terrorism Committee of the National Association of Chiefs of Police.
FM Salehi stated that the planned Latin American tour will take the Ahmadinejad to Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba and Ecuador, all nations run by left-wing governments hostile to the United States.
According to several intelligence reports from U.S. agencies and the U.S. Congress, Venezuela is home to a number of Iranian intelligence and military officers, as well as members of the Lebanon-based terrorist group Hezbollah, which is supported by the Iranian regime.
During his tour, the President Ahmadinejad is expected to discuss issues of mutual interests as well as regional and global developments with leaders of the four Latino nations.
Other issues concerning the Middle East, North Africa, Europe economic crisis and the U.S. ties will be on President Ahmadinejad’s agenda, according to Foreign Minister Salehi.
Iranian government officials have often stated that the Islamic republic wishes to continue expanding its relations with Latin American countries.
However, the United States warned Venezuela and other South American nations about the dangers in promoting their ties with Iran which is pursuing nuclear weapons and subsidizing terrorism — claims which Tehran repeatedly rejects.
Iran began expanding ties with Latin American countries, including Venezuela, Bolivia and Brazil, since 2005 when Ahmadinejad became Iran’s President.
Meanwhile, on Saturday Iran’s chairman of its Atomic Energy Organization, Fereidoon Abbasi, told the Islamic republic’s citizens that the nation is prepared to export services related to nuclear energy to other countries, the local satellite Press TV reported on Sunday.