Sunday, December 30, 2012

Iran's Laughable Response

Many, many times I've criticized those who exaggerate the Iranian threat to the United States in Latin America. The Iranian response, however, is no better. From Iranian state press:

Ahmad Reza Dastgheyb, a member of the Majlis Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy, said on Saturday that the United States “used to adopt every measure to achieve its own interests” in Latin America.

The Iranian lawmaker censured Washington’s stance on Latin America and said today, people in that region will no longer let the United States continue with its ambitious policies there.

Iran is a source of inspiration to Latin American people in view of the “freedom-seeking, revolutionary and anti-imperialistic thoughts” it provides Latin America with, Dastgheyb stated. “This is unbearable to the United States.”

This is beyond laughable, and ironically plays into the U.S. rhetorical framework. By all objective measures, Iran has virtually no influence in Latin America, and it needs Latin America much more than the reverse. Yet the U.S. insists it is a major threat, and Iran insists that it is a major influence. Neither is true.

Let's be clear. Iran is not a source of inspiration for anyone beyond the fringe in Latin America and no one beyond the fringe sees it as freedom-loving. Hugo Chavez moved closer to Iran, Syria, etc. for leverage against the United States, not because of brotherhood.

On one point he's right. The U.S. is indeed trying to achieve its own interests. But so is every other government, and pursuing those interests does not necessarily mean supporting Iran. In other words, that support is skin deep.

Unfortunately, though, we'll have to keep hearing all kinds of counter-productive bluster.


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