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INTERPOL’s Wanted Man Heads Iranian Delegation to Colombia | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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People rally in Buenos Aires. AFP

Bogota- Post Tehran’s break from sanctions, “monitoring Colombian imports and sponsoring economic benefits” is the slogan being used to headline the anticipated visit of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) delegation to Colombia this May. Latin media outlets circulated reports concerning the expected visit.

The same sources, assumed that the visit is to further expand and bolster Iranian influence in Colombia, especially after the open-arm welcome Shi’ite Muslim communities residing in Colombia faced the news of the visit with. Most of the Shi’ite communities in Latin America are of Lebanese provenance and are main elements integrated into Latin American trade and commerce.

Argentinian media warned on the aftermath entailed of such a visit, and that it could lead towards another bombing, restaging the 1992 attack, targeting the Israeli embassy in the capital. Fingers were pointed at Iran at the time. According to well-informed sources, the visiting IRGC delegation will be headed by Mohsen Rabbani, a wanted man on the INTERPOL list for suspects on the 1992 embassy attack.

Rabbani, is an Iranian “mullah”- cleric in other words- and a former cultural attaché in Argentina. He is also a leading figure in spreading Islam in Latin America, particularly in Brazil. Rabbani, while in the service at the Iranian embassy in Buenos Aires, was accused of being involved in the planning and implementation of the deadly terrorist attack on the Israeli embassy.

Over the past few years, Muslim communities in Colombia have gained a wider span of influence. The communities are mainly involved in the economic sector and are aware of conflicts in the world, which poses the possibility of them sympathizing with Iranian policy and becoming economy-controlled Iranian proxies.

The economic “excuse” is expected to ease Tehran’s navigation inside Latin America. Not to mention that Iran will not hesitate on exploiting its chances with striking U.S. and Israeli interests .

Iran will also be using its leverage to bring about Latin support in international stances against Arab countries.

International affairs of Latin American countries are chiefly steered by economic links, which is Iran’s window for infiltration and sway of stances. Especially that Colombia is a first class exporter.

Information indicates that Iran has already entered the “Halal” market in Colombia – the market responsible of producing lawful meat and other kosher food accepted by pious Muslim and Jewish people- in a play which has Iran representing Islam in all Latin countries.

Latin communities are not aware of the sectarian divide within the Muslim world, which could easily allow for leading Shi’ite communities there, mistakenly and from a single point of view to represent Islam in the Latin American world.