Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will tour six Latin American countries next week to “foil the Iranophobia plots promoted by Israel,” the Islamic Republic’s semi-official state news agency Fars reported on Wednesday, reports on the Algemeiner.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Majid Takht-Ravanchi told reporters in Tehran that Zarif will be accompanied on his visit to Cuba, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia and Venezuela by a 60-member economic delegation.
“There are many fields for economic cooperation between Iran and these six countries, but the capacities have yet to be fully utilized,” Iranian news agency Mehr quoted Takht-Ravanchi as saying. The Iranian diplomat claimed that Zarif’s trip would help bring economic cooperation with Latin America to “a whole new level.”
Earlier this year, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani declared in a speech, “The expansion and deepening of relations with the Latin American countries is among the Islamic Republic of Iran’s principled policies.”
According to Fars, Takht-Ravanchi accused Israel of seeking to undermine relations between Iran and Latin America. “The Zionist regime has for years made attempts to this end and continues its attempts,” he said.
“Certain regional states have also joined the Zionist regime and display a wrong image of Iran in line with Iranophobia plots,” he added, in an apparent reference to Israel’s strengthening ties with a growing number of Latin American countries.
In an interview with The Algemeiner in June, Leopoldo Martinez, the Latin America director at the Israel Allies Foundation — which aims to mobilize political support for the Jewish state by building pro-Israel caucuses inside legislative bodies around the world — said the recent election of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski as president of Peru should open up new opportunities for Israel to gain greater support in the region.
“With President Horacio Cartes in Paraguay and President Mauricio Macri in Argentina, and now with Kuczynski in Peru, Israel can build a strong pro-Israel bloc in Latin America to start pushing pro-Israel legislation,” Martinez said. “These three key leaders can now stand up in a united front and defend Israel.”