U.S. Warns of Iran-Hizbullah Influence in Latin America

[VOA News] Al Pessin - The commander of U.S. forces in Latin America, Admiral James Stavridis, told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday that Hizbullah is involved in drug trafficking in Colombia, and that he is worried about increased Iranian and Hizbullah activities throughout the region. In January, Defense Secretary Robert Gates accused Iran of engaging in "subversive" activity in several places in Latin America. Stavridis noted "an increase in a wide level of activity by the Iranian government," including the opening of six new embassies in Latin America during the last five years, and "proselytizing and working with Islamic activities throughout the region." "That is of concern principally because of the connections between the government of Iran, which is a state sponsor of terrorism, and Hizbullah," he said. "We see a great deal of Hizbullah activity throughout South America, in particular. [The] tri-border of Brazil is a particular concern, as in Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, as well as [other] parts of Brazil and in the Caribbean Basin."

2009-03-19 06:00:00

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