Venezuelan President Chaves with Iranian President Ahmadinejad (Archives)
Photo: AFP

Israeli official: Venezuela aids Iranian operations in Latin America

Foreign Ministry's Latin America director accuses Caracas of helping Tehran's operations in its area by providing Iranians with false travel papers, making it easier for them to enter region's countries

Foreign Ministry Latin America Director Dorit Shavit, who is accompanying Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in his tour of South America, accused Venezuela of aiding Iran's operations in Latin America, by providing Iranians with false travel papers.


Lieberman embarked on a 10-day tour of South America on Monday, with aim of countering Iran’s growing influence in the region.


Currently in Argentina, the foreign minister visited Brazil first and will continue to Peru and Colombia next.


Speaking with the Argentinean Jewish community's news agency, Shavit addressed the ties between Venezuela and Tehran. Both countries' presidents have met several times over the past year and have also signed several cooperation treaties.


"Venezuela gives Iranians false travel papers, which exempt them from the need for entry visas to other countries in Latin America," she said.


Earlier in the week, Shavit was interviewed by a Colombian newspaper and said Venezuela was also abetting Hezbollah's quest for a power base in the area, by letting the Shiite group's members operate in northwest Venezuela uninterrupted.


Caracas was quick to dismissed Shavit's claims as "absurd."


Nevertheless, this is not the first time Israel has accused Venezuela of maintaining relations with hostile elements: An official Foreign Ministry memorandum recently claimed that Venezuela was allowing Hezbollah to form cells within its territory.


The memo further claimed that it was Venezuela which was providing Iran with the uranium it needs for its nuclear program.


פרסום ראשון: 07.25.09, 08:25
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