Iranian-Venezuelan relations and impacts on the United States
Gundogan, Mehmet S.
Looney, Robert E.
Trinkunas, Harold A.
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This thesis examines the recent IranianVenezuelan partnership, especially as it relates to Irans involvement in Latin America and its impact on U.S. foreign policy. Thus, this study analyzes Irans behavior vis--vis the U.S. and Latin America and asks whether Iran IS trying to strike a balance against the U.S. by forming a bloc with Venezuelaand, if so, whether it can succeed. Over the past five years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has expanded its influence in Latin America as part of the aggressive foreign policy of President Ahmadinejad. He especially seeks support for Irans nuclear program and a way to evade international isolation. Furthermore, Ahmadinejad aims to outflank Irans foremost opponentthe United Statesin its own backyard with the help of the Venezuelan populist leader, Hugo Chvez, who also endorses strong anti-imperialist and anti-American rhetoric. With the assistance of President Chvez, Iran has found a bridge to infiltrate the region. The two countries have formed an anti-U.S. front known to the world as the axis of unity. Through this relationship, Iran has deepened its contacts with other leftist countries such as Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Cuba.
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