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Iran Expands Its Influence in Latin America

Julieta Pelcastre

Diálogo, Sept. 1, 2022

“They encourage these leftist movements, knowing that Latin America is hard hit by the economic and social crisis.” 


Iran, with the support of terrorist organization Hezbollah and pro-Iranian groups, is seeking to expand its ideological influence in Latin America through the internet, social networks, and meeting places, the study Propaganda, Narratives and Influence in Latin America: Iran, Hezbollah and Al-Tajammu, of Israel’s Reichman University International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) indicates.

“It’s a large-scale psychological warfare using social networks, satellites, and Spanish-language media, which promote [Iranian] interests to attack the West and Latin America,” Jorge Serrano, a member of the team of advisors to the Peruvian Congress Intelligence Commission, told Diálogo on August 10. VEVAK [Iran’s National Ministry of Intelligence and Security] is behind this.”

Latin America is an area in which Iran seeks to expand its influence and scope of action, including narcotrafficking, money laundering, recruitment, proselytizing, and even terrorist attacks, the July 3 report says.

the region also serves as a propaganda apparatus for Iran, Hezbollah, and pro-Iranian organizations with the help of 21st century technology, leveraging a shared narrative with Latin America’srevolutionary left, it adds.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is a [huge] threat […], due to its inflexibility and capacity to perpetrate terrorist acts at the international level,” Serrano said. “With the help of Cuba, Venezuela, and the Sao Paulo Forum, it infiltrates all of Latin America.”

Rabbani Network

Former Iranian cultural attaché to the Iran Embassy in Buenos Aires Mohsen Rabbani has been promoting pro-Iranian communication channels in Argentina and Chile since the 1990s. The Rabbani Network grew over 30 years, moving to YouTube, websites, and social networks, ICT’s analysis shows.

The AnnurTV platform, with news in Spanish about Islam and the Middle East, is within this network, the report indicates. The platform belongs to the Argentine Islamic Organization. Another channel is Chilean ARABTV, published in Spanish,which describes itself as catering to lovers of Arab traditions.

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