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Daily Briefing: IRAN’S SOFT POWER GRAB IN LATIN AMERICA

WATCH:  The IRGC’s Expanding Presence in Latin America:   Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi, Emetonline, Aug. 8, 2022Since the Iranian regime toppled the Shah in 1979, their goal has been to export the Islamic revolution. The regime views Latin America as an easy target through which to spread anti-American propaganda and flex Iranian influence.

Iran’s Pattern of Penetration in Latin America: Joseph M. Humire, Diálogo, Jan. 28, 2022 When two Iranian warships steamed around the southern tip of Africa in early June 2021, in a possible voyage to Venezuela, alarm bells rang throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. What once seemed impossible looked to be inevitable as regional intelligence officials scrambled to determine the implications of Iranian naval vessels in Caribbean waters.


 

Iran Expands Its Influence in Latin America:  Julieta Pelcastre, Diálogo, Sept. 1, 2022

Mystery Cargo:  Emanuele Ottolenghi, FDD, July 6, 2022

How Iran is Making Inroads in South America:  Emanuele Ottolenghi, The Dispatch, Mar. 10, 2022

The US Government’s Latin American Policies are Bringing Iran and Gangs Closer to Home:  Irina Tsukerman, Foreign Policy Association, Aug. 30, 2022


 

IRGC’s naval special forces, S.N.S.F.

The Mystery Venezuelan Plane Carrying IRGC Officers Grounded in Argentina:  Florencia Montaruu, Iran Wire, June 13, 2022Last week the Argentine authorities retained a Venezuelan-owned cargo plane, citing US sanctions on Iran. Five Iranian crewmembers and fourteen Venezuelans were onboard, official sources confirmed to IranWire, and among them was ex-IRGC commander Gholamreza Ghasemi together with several members of the Quds Force.  

Soleimani U:  Emanuele Ottolenghi, Tablet, Feb. 25, 2022 — For decades, Iran has patiently sought to export its Islamic Revolution to Latin America. Alongside Iranian embassies, one academic institution stands out as a bastion of Iran’s influence operations in the region: Al Mustafa International University, which has branches in over 50 countries, and which the U.S. Department of the Treasury sanctioned in 2020 for its role in Iran’s propaganda efforts, including the provision of material support for the training and indoctrination of Shiite militias. With an $80 million annual budget, Al Mustafa is one of Iran’s leading propaganda outlets. Its robust budget enables it to spread Iran’s revolutionary message far beyond the walls of its campus.

Stop the Hop II: The Ghost Armada Grows Claire Jungman and Daniel Roth, United Against Nuclear Iran, Sept. 1, 2022 — In November 2020, UANI identified 70 foreign vessels suspected of involvement in the illicit transfer of Iranian crude oil and/or petroleum products. Almost two years later, the list has grown to 234. 

Iran in Latin America: Malign Alliances, “Super Spreaders,” and Alternative Narratives Douglas Farah and Alexa Tavarez, INSS, July 20, 2019 — Iran’s ability to shape the information environment and spread the narrative of the United States as an imperialist force—perpetrating violence and instability in Latin America—has grown in recent years.

File:
Latin America Iran Map.png – Wikimedia Commons

Expert: Iran Works on Mobilizing ‘Extreme Left’ in Latin America to Expand Influence Network Andrew Jose, JNS, Aug. 11, 2022 — Iran has been targeting local Muslims, potential converts and leftist students as part of its influence operations in Latin America, said an expert during an Aug. 4 webinar.

Latin America’s Perfect Storm:  Evan Ellis, Global Americans, Aug. 31, 2022 — Latin America and the Caribbean is the region to which U.S. security and prosperity are most directly tied through bonds of geography, commerce, and family. Yet, it is experiencing an unprecedented “perfect storm” of reinforcing economic, criminal, and political stresses, eroding its institutions and economic prospects, radicalizing its people, and undermining its commitment to democracy and the rule of law.

Propaganda, Narratives, and Influence in Latin America: Iran, Hezbollah and Al-Tajammu:  Jorge Paredes Esteban and Michael Barak, Reichman University, July 3, 2022Since the end of the last century, Latin America has been a prominent area in which Iran has sought to expand its influence and scope of action. From drug smuggling to money laundering, from fundraising to recruitment and proselytism, even terrorist attacks, Iran-related activities in Latin America have been in motion from the Bolivarian Venezuela in the north to Argentina in the south, from the Chile in the west to Brazil in the east.

File:
YouTube icon block.png – Wikimedia Commons

FDD EVENT | Flying Under the Radar: Iran’s Illicit Activities and Networks in Latin America Foundation for Defense of Democracies, YouTube, Aug. 3, 2022 

What is Iran’s Endgame in Latin America?Middle East Forum, YouTube, Jan. 27, 2022 SFS (Secure Free Society) Executive Director Joseph Humire speaks at a webinar organized by the @MiddleEastForumMEF, a foreign policy and national security think tank based in Pennsylvania, about ‘Iran’s Tightening Hold on Latin America.

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