ProPublica on Iran and Latin America

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Part of the family
Part of the family

Pulitzer-prize winning ProPublica came out with a thorough look into the links between Iran and Latin America. ProPublica is considered by some to be left-leaning, so I was expecting them to not sound alarmist. It’s therefore a surprise to hear them sound, well, alarmist.

There’s a lot in there for foreign policy / intelligence buffs to digest.

One money quote:

Witnesses at the House subcommittee hearing Tuesday described Venezuela as a gateway through which Iranian operatives travel to and from the region unmolested and obtain authentic Venezuelan documents to enhance their covers.

Witness Joseph Humire, a security expert, cited a report last year in which the Canadian Border Services Agency described Iran as the top source of illegal migrants to Canada, most of them coming through Latin America. Between 2009 and 2011, the majority of those Iranian migrants passed through Caracas, where airport and airline personnel were implicated in providing them with fraudulent documents, according to the Canadian border agency.

The allegations are consistent with interviews in recent years in which U.S., Latin American and Israeli security officials have told ProPublica about suspected Middle Eastern operatives and Latin American drug lords obtaining Venezuelan documents through corruption or ideological complicity.

“There seems to be an effort by the Venezuelan government to make sure that Iranians have full sets of credentials,” a U.S. law enforcement official said.

Read the whole thing.

1 COMMENT

  1. It is past the time when the U.S. should stop all entries into the U.S. with Venezuelan credentials. This would hurt me but it could end up hurting the U.S. even more. We do not need Iranian operatives disguised as Venezuelans slipping across the border into the U.S.

    This is an issue that has been around since Chavez started. Venezuelan passports can be bought cheaper than gasoline.

    • What threat do you think Iranians pose in North America? Anything comparable to the US/Israeli constant threat of mass aerial bombardment, including tactical nuclear strikes, white phosphorous and depleted uranium?

  2. I honestly don’t see what the big deal is with Iran. They seems to have stronger democratic institutions than we do, a more progressive government economically, and some what progressive in terms of civil liberties in comparison to other muslim nations.

    Yes, they are after the A-bomb, which bothers the US, and they have an inflated rhetoric (which is probably just that) . But wouldn’t you want one, knowing who your neighbors are?

    Hell, they did away with gas subsidies and started direct cash transfers. Why can’t be more like them.

  3. I think the relationship is more corrupted than using Venezuela to infiltrate illegal immigrants to North America, specially Canada. As you may know lots of iranian government families are here buying canadian citizenship ( business immigration category) and they do not bother themselves in refugee camps. I also know an Iranian who came to Canada as a refugee passing throughout mexic almost 20 years ago, before this Chavez- Ahmadinejad brotherhood even exist. Latin america is the path, no matter which country you chose. The main point of all those propagandas specially the Canadian government spoke persons is that they has a policy in favour of Israel and its lobbyists in united state to spread Iranophobi, to try to have public opinion ready for their radical actions , like blind sanctions that suffered more normal people than Iranian government, selling more weapon to Arab countries, etc.

  4. It is hard to believe the largest source of “illegal” migrants to Canada is from Iran, whether through Caracas or elsewhere. And most Iranian immigrants here appear to be highly qualified professionals who often face significant barriers to applying the skills that got them here in the first place. Sort of like another group of migrants that people on this blog might be familiar with.

    • It appears that the largest group of undocumented workers (i.e. illegals) in Canada is US citizens. Not Iranians.

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