Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Iran Runs a Campaign to Support its Allies in South America | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (left) shakes hands with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro after reviewing the honor guard at the Saadabad Palace in Tehran on January 10, 2015 (AFP Photo/Atta Kenare)

Caracas –Iran has been lately using all Spanish-speaking television stations and news sites to polish the image of Latin regime that are allies of Iran, like Cuba, Venezuela, and Bolivia.

Iran tends to fund programs of Venezuelan channels like Telesur, the state news channel for Spanish speaking countries.

Social media users noticed that Arabic television channels like al-Mayadeen recently started a media campaign in Spanish language to support the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro or to promote the ideas of the former president Hugo Chavez.

Mayadeen is also spreading news in Spanish language about the allies or broadcast news on social media like Twitter.

Iran also issues order to the channels affiliated with the Lebanese so-called Hezbollah and the Spanish speaking communities to support its allies. The campaign also included the launch of a Spanish speaking online websites run by Latinos of Arab descents.

This isn’t the first time that Iranian regime support allies. Spanish politicians were enraged by the fact that Iran funded and supported Spanish-speaking Iranian media.

Doubts highlighted around the secretary general of Podemos party Spanish politician Pablo Iglesias as rumors spread that he he received financial support from Iran to fund his political and media programs. The campaign against Iglesias settled down after Madrid was facing problems in forming a government.

Yet, Iran is relying on the fact that if the Spanish politician came to power in Spain will back Iran.

Political analysts said that Iran recently constructed media institutions in the Arab, Spanish, or English world. Iran aims to reach out to the western communities and spread its culture by presenting itself as the only Islamic state in the region. This became evident when it established the Spanish-speaking television Hispan TV in 2011 which targets millions of Spanish speaking people.

In addition, through social media, Iran communicates with members of the so-called Hezbollah in countries like Venezuela, Cuba, and Argentina to address the Lebanese communities there.

It is worth mentioning that the Arab community, especially the Lebanese community in South America, is estimated to be around 10 million citizen distributed all over the continent. There are between 6 and 8 million Arab citizen in Brazil alone.