Posts Tagged ‘Iran’

Mexican onshore oil holds most potential in Latin America -study

| May 21st, 2015 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in Reuters


May 20 Mexico’s marginal oil fields hold more potential than any other country in Latin America, a mostly onshore resource that could be tapped quickly with techniques perfected in the U.S. shale boom, the lead author of a new study said on Wednesday.

The 14.1 billion barrels in incremental oil potential from Mexico’s lower-quality, overwhelmingly onshore fields is bigger than any nation bar Russia and Iran, said Leta Smith, director of upstream energy research at consultancy IHS Energy.

“The thing that makes it exciting is that access to Russia and Iran is pretty limited for most international oil companies, but Mexico is opening up right now,” she said.

Last year, Mexico finalized a historic energy overhaul that ended state-owned oil company Pemex’s longstanding oil and gas monopoly and that aims to lure billions of dollars in private investment via new contracts to ... Read More

New Evidence of Iran’s Presence in Latin America

| May 13th, 2015 | No Comments »
Center for Security Policy


A new book written by Emili Blasco, Washington correspondent for the newspaper, ABC Spain, confirms many points about Iran’s penetration into the Western Hemisphere. The book is written is Spanish but its title in English would be translated as “Boomerang Chavez”.

Among other things Blasco points out the existence of fraud in the elections via electronic manipulation. Likewise, the author also stresses the fact that 95% of the Colombian drugs bound for Europe and the U.S. depart from Venezuela. Blasco also confirms the point that I raised in my book “Latin America in the Post Chavez Era”, which has been brought first by the scholar Max Mainwaring (and most recently by Ari Chaplin), that drug trafficking is a form of asymmetric war against Washington. Diosdado Cabello, currently the President of the National Assembly along with the current Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, ... Read More

Judges Close Conspiracy Case Against Argentina’s President

| May 13th, 2015 | No Comments »
The New York Times


BUENOS AIRES — A criminal case against President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was closed Tuesday when federal judges accepted a prosecutor’s decision not to pursue accusations that she had conspired to shield Iranians suspected of planning the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center here.

The case had originally been brought by another prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, who was found dead in January at his home, hours before he was to present his findings before Congress. Mr. Nisman’s body was lying in a pool of blood, and he had a bullet lodged in his head. A pistol was found on the floor under the body, and a spent cartridge was also at the scene. There was no suicide note.

His death thrust Argentina into its most severe political crisis in more than a decade. A team of experts is trying to determine whether it ... Read More

Obama Dances Alone

| April 23rd, 2015 | No Comments »

By Carlos Alberto Montaner

After assuring his top diplomat, John Kerry, that Cuba lately has been behaving well of late, U.S. President Barack Obama scratched the island nation off the list of countries that abet terrorism.

That was foreseeable.

Obama had already announced in Panama that his government would not seek regime change in Cuba. Havana’s presence on the list of sponsors of terrorism was part of a regime change strategy – a political dunce cap meant to malign its adversary on the long road to displacement.

Nevertheless, it was a fair description. For decades, the Castro regime worked hand-in-hand with the nastiest people on the planet, from Carlos the Jackal to the adipose royal dynasty in North Korea, as well as Libyan leader Moammar Ghaddafi and the Colombian narcoguerrillas. Obama’s clear wish is to forget such grievances and open a new chapter.

Obama will soon return ... Read More

New Book Reveals Venezuela-Hezbollah Narcotics Alliance

| April 22nd, 2015 | No Comments »
Israel National News

By Gedalyah Reback

A new book has alleged that current Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro directly negotiated with Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah about drug trafficking, weapons and a Hezbollah presence in his country back in 2007. Maduro was then the Foreign Minister in the government of the late infamous socialist dictator Hugo Chavez, who died of cancer in 2013.

The book, Bumerán Chávez: Los fraudes que llevaron al colapso de Venezuela (Boomerang Chavez: the Fraud that Led to the Collapse of Venezuela), is the work of Emili J. Blasco, Washington correspondent for Spain’s newspaper (Spanish).

The revelations are largely based on diplomatic cables and the testimony of Rafael Isea, the former Deputy Minister of Economic Development in Venezuela. Isea defected in 2013 shortly after Maduro took the reins from the suddenly deceased Chavez. Isea has been living in Washington D.C. ever since.

2007 saw the personal relationship between Chavez and then-Iranian President Mahmoud ... Read More

In Argentina, prosecutor drops allegations against President Kirchner

| April 22nd, 2015 | No Comments »
From CNN

By Mariano Castillo

(CNN)A prosecutor has dismissed allegations that Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner tried to cover up Iran’s involvement in a 1994 bombing in Buenos Aires.

The move by prosecutor Javier de Luca to drop the case could mean a definitive end to the accusations that have roiled the nation, according to Argentina’s state-run Telam news agency.

The case became of high interest globally after the original prosecutor who brought the allegations was found dead in January.

Alberto Nisman was found dead days after making the accusations. His death sparked outrage and conspiracy theories aplenty.

Nisman alleged that Argentina’s government agreed not to go after Iranian suspects in the bombing in exchange for a favorable trade deal.

The 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in the Argentine capital is the deadliest terror attack in the country’s history. Eighty-five people were killed, and ... Read More

For U.S., Brazil ‘aligned’ itself with human rights violators at the U.N.

| April 13th, 2015 | 1 Comment »
Estadao Brazil

By Jamil Chade

[Translation by IASW]

The Human Rights Council voted resolutions on various crises around the world and Brazil abstained to vote in cases involving Syria and Iran.

“Brazil has aligned itself with the position taken by some of the biggest human rights violators in the world” by choosing not to support resolutions condemning Syria and Iran. The statement was made by US representative to the UN Human Rights Council, Keith Harper, in an exclusive interview in which he doesn’t hide his frustration over the political choices of the Brazilian government. But he also took the opportunity to insist on areas in which Washington and Brazil can collaborate.

Last week, the UN Human Rights Council voted on resolutions on a number of crises around the world. Brazil abstained to vote on matters dealing with Syria and Iran, prompting criticism from NGOs. Now, with a direct speech and without diplomatic language, the American representative ... Read More

Appeals court dismisses Iran cover-up charges against Argentina president

| March 27th, 2015 | No Comments »
The Guardian UK

A federal court of appeals dismissed charges against the Argentinian president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, on Thursday, regarding an alleged conspiracy to shield Iranian officials’ from prosecution over their alleged role in the deadly 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish community centre.

The charges had originally been made by prosecutor Alberto Nisman in January, four days before he was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head in his Buenos Aires apartment.

On 14 January, Nisman had presented a 289-page writ in court that he said unveiled a conspiracy headed by Fernández to clear five high-ranking Iranian suspects of charges that they had masterminded the 1994 bombing of the Amia centre, in which 85 people were killed.

In a 2-1 vote, appeals judges dismissed Nisman’s accusation, but there is a strong likelihood that prosecutor Germán Moldes – who upheld Nisman’s charges before the judges – may appeal the decision to a higher court.

Fernández and other ... Read More

Never the next great power: Argentina’s future is always stuck in the past

| March 23rd, 2015 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in Reuters By Daniela Blei

Argentina, mired in corruption and ineptitude, has swallowed Alberto Nisman – and the truth.

The stunning death of the federal prosecutor, the day before he was to testify before the Argentine congress about his allegations against the country’s president and a more than decade-old unsolved bombing, has confirmed — as if more proof were needed — that Argentina is its own worst enemy.

Argentina entered the modern world with great expectations. Its European genealogy and natural resources were taken as virtual guarantees of prosperity and progress. Visitors to Buenos Aires produced a literary genre of their own, fawning over the “sumptuous boulevards” of a cosmopolitan city that was heralded as “the capital of the continent.”

This is the starting point for just about every narrative of Argentina. Its “incomplete modernity,” its status as a “stillborn great nation” or a success story that somehow derailed makes it ... Read More

Iran and Argentina: The Defectors’ Tale

| March 23rd, 2015 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01


Did Hugo Chávez act as a bagman for Iran in its effort to get nuclear technology from Argentina? That’s the claim made by three former members of the Venezuelan dictatorship’s inner circle cited anonymously in a March 14 story in the Brazilian magazine Veja.

The magazine says it didn’t name the defectors, interviewed in Washington, to protect their family members back in Venezuela. But it reported that they were questioned separately and each said there was a deal in January 2007 between Chávez and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Caracas. Venezuela would deliver Iranian money to Argentine officials in exchange for two favors for Tehran.

The first favor they described, according to Veja, was that Argentina would cover up Iran’s role in the 1994 terrorist attack on a Jewish community center (known by its Spanish initials as AMIA) in Buenos Aires. The second favor was that Argentina would “share their long experience in [a] ... Read More

Israeli minister accuses Iran of Argentina terror attacks

| March 20th, 2015 | No Comments »
UT San Diego


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Israel’s agricultural minister on Thursday accused Iran of orchestrating two terrorist attacks in Argentina in the 1990s and urged the world not to negotiate with the Middle Eastern country on the future of its nuclear program.

Agricultural Minister Yair Shamir led a delegation to Buenos Aires to commemorate the 1992 attack on the Israeli Embassy that killed 29 people and wounded hundreds.

“Iran continues to sow destruction and horror in all the world, but the world continues on as if nothing was happening,” Shamir said, speaking in Hebrew and accompanied by a Spanish translator.

Shamir, the son of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, said the world takes on a “hypocritical attitude” that ignores that Iran is aiming “at the civilized world, including Israel.”

Israel and Argentina have ... Read More

New photos reveal expanding reach of Iran in Venezuela and other parts of Latin America

| March 18th, 2015 | No Comments »
From Fox News Latino

By Catherine Herridge

As the Obama administration seeks a deal with Iran on its nuclear program, new congressional testimony, documents and photos show Tehran is expanding its reach into South America by advising rogue regimes on suppressing anti-government protests and financing secretive military facilities.

Rep. Jeff Duncan, a Republican from South Carolina, cited this evidence when questioning the notion that Iran has changed its ways as President Barack Obama and his team advance negotiations which may include dropping Iran from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism.

“We have a negotiation going on with Iran,” Duncan told Fox News. “We don’t want anything to interfere with that.”

“And so we’re going to say their influence in this hemisphere is waning,”  Duncan said, referring to the administration’s argument. “The narrative doesn’t work when you start looking at all the pieces of the puzzle that fit together of Iran’s ... Read More

The Teheran-Caracas-Buenos Aires Connection

| March 16th, 2015 | No Comments »
By Rodrigo Rangel VEJA Brazil

By Leonardo Coutinho

Argentinians have been wondering for the last two months what happened on January 18, the day in which federal prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead in the bathroom of his apartment in Buenos Aires. Only four days previously, he had presented the justice ministry with an indictment against president Cristina Kirchner and another four people he accused of covering up Iran´s participation in the terrorist attack which resulted in 85 deaths and 300 wounded in the headquarters of the Israeli Argentina Mutual Association (Amia) in 1994. Nisman explained in his document that, besides the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding that would allow Iran to interfere in the investigation of the case, the Islamic Republic wanted the Argentinians to remove the names of five Iranians and one Lebanese from the list of people wanted by Interpol. The Argentinian government went out of its way to disparage his ... Read More

Kicking it with Hezbollah

| March 13th, 2015 | No Comments »
Center for Security Policy

By Sebastian De Luca

In the coming weeks, Tareck el Aissami will make his professional debut for Aragua FC, a Venezuelan soccer team located roughly sixty miles southwest of the capital city of Caracas.

At 40 years old, it is hard to believe that any individual would be making a professional sports debut; however, thus is the case of this one part Chavista, one part Hezbollah operative, and current Governor of the state of Aragua.

Tareck el Aissami was born in Venezuela to Syrian-Lebanese parents. While attending the Universidad de los Andes, Tareck studied criminology and law, graduating magna cum laude for his class.

El Aissami was very active in the school community, serving as President of the student body, a position that gave him control over the student dormitory operations. Thus begins Tareck el Aissami’s journey from star student to Hezbollah agent.

It has been reported that under Tareck’s supervision, the student dorms turned into ... Read More

Intrigue in Argentina

| March 6th, 2015 | No Comments »
The Economist

An ebullient crowd greeted Argentina’s president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, when she arrived at Congress on March 1st to deliver her final state of the union address. Thousands of kirchneristas had gathered outside the Greco-Roman building, carrying balloons and waving flags. They had reason to cheer. A few days before the speech a federal judge, Daniel Rafecas, threw out allegations that Ms Fernández and her officials had obstructed an investigation into Argentina’s deadliest terror attack.

Mr Rafecas’s decision does not end the saga, which has gripped Argentina since January. Alberto Nisman, a federal prosecutor, began it by alleging that Ms Fernández had offered to shield Iranians suspected of complicity in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish centre in Buenos Aires. In return, Iran would sell oil to Argentina. Just hours before presenting this claim to Congress, Mr Nisman was found dead in his bathroom from a gunshot wound. The ... Read More

Ex-Wife of Alberto Nisman Says Argentine Prosecutor Was Murdered

| March 6th, 2015 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01


BUENOS AIRES—The ex-wife of a top prosecutor who died mysteriously in January presented a report by top forensic specialists asserting that he was the victim of a homicide, ratcheting up pressure on Argentina’s government over a case that has captivated the country and started one of its worst political crises in decades.

Sandra Arroyo Salgado, a federal judge who had once been married to the late prosecutor Alberto Nisman, said at a Thursday news conference that investigators she hired had amassed evidence that points to murder—including indications that Mr. Nisman’s body was moved after he was shot.

“Nisman didn’t suffer an accident,” she said. “Nisman didn’t kill himself. Nisman was murdered.”

Mr. Nisman’s body, with a bullet wound in his head, was found in the bathroom of his high rise apartment on Jan. 18, a day before he was to have appeared before Argentina’s Congress to back up his accusation that ... Read More

Argentina’s president just gave her most delusional speech yet

| March 3rd, 2015 | No Comments »
Business Insider


The president of Argentina is living in an alternate reality, one that once seemed to bear some resemblance to the world we live in but no longer does.

In a speech on Sunday, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner completely detached from reality in two ways. First, she speculated wildly about Israel’s connection to terrorist attacks in Argentina. Second, she claimed the economy was on the upswing — something one Financial Times journalist was only too happy to call her out on.

In her speech, Fernandez said a prosecutor who died under mysterious circumstances had actually complimented her in documents found in a safety box in his apartment. That prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, was found dead just before he was to testify that the Argentine government had helped to cover up Iran’s involvement in a decades-old terrorist attack in Buenos Aires.

She also asked Israel to ... Read More

Argentina president criticises Alberto Nisman and Israel over 1994 bombing

| March 2nd, 2015 | No Comments »
The Guardian UK

Argentinian president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner said on Sunday the prosecutor who had accused her of a criminal cover-up had also praised her, characterizing the late Alberto Nisman’s actions as contradictory in a sharply worded speech that included a rebuke of Israel over the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community centre.

Fernández said documents had been found in Nisman’s safe, one written in December and the other in January. She said in both he spoke favourably of the president’s speeches to the United Nations aimed at getting justice for the attack on the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association, which killed 85 people.

She said that was contradictory to his allegations that she and other top officials in her administration had orchestrated a cover-up with Iran to shield officials allegedly responsible in a grain-for-oil deal. Fernández has rejected the allegations and Iran has long denied involvement in the bombing.

“Which Nisman do I go with?” she said. “With the ... Read More

A timeline of Venezuela’s slide toward disaster

| March 2nd, 2015 | No Comments »
Global Post


LIMA, Peru — How did it all go so horribly wrong?

Back in 1998, when Hugo Chavez was first elected president, many Venezuelans’ expectations could not have been higher.

The burly former paratrooper vowed to end the politics that had allowed corruption to thrive and vast oil wealth to fritter away. More than anything else, Chavez gave a voice — arguably for the first time in the South American nation’s history — to the poor majority.

Seventeen years later, the economy is in shambles, and Chavez’s handpicked successor, President Nicolas Maduro, is locking up store owners and opposition leaders, drawing angry protesters into the streets. The death toll increased again last week when a 14-year-old schoolboy was shot in the head, reportedly by police.

The mayor of the capital Caracas, Antonio Ledezma, was detained Feb. 19 and charged the next day for ... Read More

Argentina OKs revamp of spy service after Alberto Nisman’s death

| February 26th, 2015 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in Reuters

Argentina lawmakers passed a bill Thursday to revamp the country’s intelligence service, parts of which President Cristina Fernandez has portrayed as sinister, accountable to no one and possibly responsible for the death of a star prosecutor.

Fernandez’s leftist government submitted the bill after state investigator Alberto Nisman was found dead on Jan. 18, a few days after he accused Fernandez of trying to cover up Iran’s alleged role in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center. She rejected the accusation as “absurd.”

Fernandez says the new state security body established under the legislation will be more accountable. But government opponents say the legislation does little more than change the name of the spy agency and had been rushed through Congress. The opposition boycotted some of the debate.

It is still not known if Nisman shot himself in the head or was murdered. Fernandez’s government has said rogue agents tricked Nisman into making ... Read More

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