Iran has made it clear it expects the INTERPOL “red notices’” to be lifted, which would be a significant victory, and currently part of the discussions. It is easy to discern some of the rationale for such warming relations. Iran is buying more than $1 billion in desperately needed grains and beef from Argentina, easing its food shortages while giving Argentina desperately need hard currency.
But other forces may be at work. Meanwhile, Iran’s allies in the region, led by Venezuela, have vowed to help Iran break international sanctions and support its nuclear program. It is worth remembering that Iran’s nuclear reactor, refitted and fueled by Argentina in the 1980s and 1990s, was suspended “permanently” after the 1994 bombing was linked to Iran.
Argentina also recently revived its Condor missile program of the 1980s, secretly testing the solid fuel Gradicom PXC 2009. The missile technology is being shared with the industrial branch of Venezuela’s military known as CAVIM.
CAVIM is sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury for illicitly aiding Iran’s nuclear program.
Given Iran’s desire for missile technology and components, the possibility of Argentinian technology reaching Tehran through Venezuela is high. President Fernández is embarking on a dangerous path back to Argentina’s worst days of economic ruin while courting the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism. This should be of deep concern for her neighbors and for those who understand Iran’s intentions and capabilities.
Douglas Farah is senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy CenterFarah is the author of the recent report “Back To The Future: Argentina Unravels.”