Washington is trying to make the American public believe that Iranians are encroaching upon the United States to create fear of Iran among them for its ultimate aim of war against Tehran, says an analyst.
The comment comes as the USA has just passed into law the Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act particularly aimed at countering Iran’s growing influence in South America. This law requires the USA State Department, within 180 days, to develop a strategy to “address Iran’s growing hostile presence and activity” in Latin America.
The legislation makes it clear that American policy is to counter Iran’s influence by requiring a coordinated and targeted strategy that uses all elements of national power through political and diplomatic means. It charges the USA government to detail the presence of Iran in the Western Hemisphere.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Latin American expert, Gloria Estela La Riva from San Francisco to further discuss the issue at hand. He is joined by two additional guests on Press TV’s News Analysis program: editor of Latin America Bureau, Javier Farje from London and Latin American Expert, Isaac Bigio from London. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: What does it mean a country like the United States which has at least 900 if not more military bases all over the world, why would Washington actually be concerned with Iran obviously that does not have this same type of influence or presence in even South America? So what is really the main concern here in your perspective?
La Riva: I don’t believe it’s so much concern with the signing of this new law so much as trying to-it’s a very cynical ploy to create fear among the American public to make people think that Iranians are on the border of Canada and Mexico ready to enter the United States. It is really outrageous to be claiming this.
On the other hand I agree with the speaker that the times have changed for example in this last summit of the Americas where the Latin American and America, the United States and Canada met, Cuba was not allowed to participate as usual and many of the countries said this would be the last summit if Cuba is not allowed to participate in the next one.
The US is experiencing growing isolation politically and yet it does have enormous military and economic power and influence and therefore the signing of this new law, it’s part of the whole plan and aggression against Iran.
Press TV: So you are saying that the actual target of this whole thing is what more hostility? Basically you said that this fear factor they’re trying to increase the index of the fear factors of Iranians or the Iranian government or what exactly are you saying with that Miss La Riva?
La Riva: Well, I think publicly this ploy to make it seem as if the Iranians are encroaching upon the United States but it’s also intended to justify hundreds and millions of dollars to finance opposition groups within Latin America, particularly in Venezuela, in Cuba, in Bolivia and Nicaragua.
And also it’s not known, the full extent of this law much of it is not public but we will see it unfolding in the next presumed 180 days what they plan.
But what we must not lose sight of is what’s taking place in the Middle East with the US growing sanctions and plans for more sanctions to take effect starting in February of this coming year and 2013 will be absolutely critical for the people of the United States to understand.
What is really at hand in the Middle East is the US first priority right now is against Syria, we see the growing danger of war but if there indeed is a NATO, starting with Turkey attack on Syria it could spell more danger, military danger against Iran.
Press TV: What about that Miss La Riva, let me turn to you, is it impossible for a country like Iran and many of the Latin American countries to actually become even closer; based on revolutionary anti-imperialist perspectives?
La Riva: Well, I believe that’s the only road to survival for countries like in Latin America and an absolutely independent country like Iran. The United States considers it to be anti-American if you are not a puppet or servile to US interests and that’s the key; that’s why it has such great relations with Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia; it’s because they are absolutely dominated by US policy being such autocratic countries.
And the alliance of ALBA [Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas] in Latin America is unprecedented; never before in Latin America’s history have several of these countries been so united and also influencing other countries like Argentina and Brazil and Chile.
And this is what concerns the United States as it can no longer run Latin America and say you will have an overall free market program with us and we will open your borders and fledge your markets.
That can’t happen anymore like it used to and therefore all the way across the ocean with a growing alliance, I believe with Iran these are new times; we see the Middle East being divided and concurred and again the only road is through unity even with a country from the Middle East, like Iran having this observer nation status with ALBA.
Press TV: So you disagree with our previous speaker Mr. Farje that you do not think it is so far-fetched Miss La Riva for a country like Iran and certain countries in Latin America to have sort of an alliance, to work closer together?
La Riva: Not only is it possible, I think it’s absolutely necessary. It’s early still, it’s still early in the forming of these alliances. President Ahmadinejad has visited Latin American countries several times and we’ve seen also President Chavez in his years of presidency has gone around the country, whether it was Iran and Russia, China going all over the world and developing closer ties with countries who are independent of US domination.
Press TV: Miss La Riva, we’re just about out of time, your perspective do you think according to Mr. Farje this has nothing to do with the growing anti-American perspective in Latin America. Do you agree or disagree with that? Are we seeing a switch in Latin America? Do you think that the United States is loosing its influence in that part of the world?
La Riva: The US is losing political influence and some economic but it still intends to try to undo the progress that has been achieved, trying to undermine the Venezuelan government; overthrow the Cuban government.
I’d like to bring it back to Iran though, Iran is an independent country with much resources and every move against Iran, the economic sanctions, the attacks on the nuclear development is all really a pretext for an overall strategy to try to overthrow the Iranian government; to try to install a puppet regime like it had under the Shah and the sanctions are part of that.
They are a prelude to war if they cannot achieve their aim through sanctions and we must expose all of these attacks as a pretext for the ultimate aim of the United States.