Iran's Latin America offesive

The New York Sun highlights the ample reasons for concern about Iran's activities in Central and South America, and the appearance of a possible Iran connection to the JFK Airport terror plot. An article by Eli Lake reports:
As New York police and the FBI interview suspects in an alleged plot to attack John F. Kennedy International Airport, one thread the ongoing investigation will explore is why one of the suspects was planning to go to Iran.

A former Guyanese legislator, Abdul Kadir, was arrested in Trinidad on Friday on a plane bound for Caracas, Venezuela. According to Mr. Kadir's wife, Isha Kadir, he was in the island nation to pick up an Iranian visa so he could attend an Islamic conference in Tehran. Two of Mr. Kadir's children are studying in Iran, according to Mrs. Kadir.

Trinidad's counterterrorism police are also investigating whether one of Mr. Kadir's alleged co-conspirators, a 56-year old Shiite imam in Trinidad named Kareem Ibrahim, had ties to Shiite organizations in southern Iraq and Iran through an Islamic discussion group he hosted, according to the Trinidad Express.
In an editorial, the Sun looks to the larger and even more threatening context:
Our editorial noted that the two promptly retired to Mirafloras, the presidential palace, to sign off on "at least 29 memorandums and letters of intent" and "also reiterated that they would push for OPEC production cuts." That was reported in El Universal. The Associated Press reported they announced plans for a $2 billion joint fund to finance projects that would thwart American domination "This fund, my brother, will become a mechanism for liberation," Mr. Ahmadinejad said to Mr. Chavez during the announcement.

The Iranian president then continued to Nicaragua, where, according to Iran's state-owned Islamic Republic News Agency, he was awarded two state medals by Nicaragua's newly inaugurated president and America's old foe, Daniel Ortega. Agreements were signed to establish diplomatic relations and open embassies in Managua and Tehran, according to El Nuevo Diario in the Nicaraguan capital. Visiting a Nicaraguan slum together, Mr. Ahmadinejad called Mr. Ortega a "symbol of justice," and Mr. Ortega promised to "fight for ... the defense of our sovereignty." [....]

While the Iranian entente with anti-American regimes in South America and the Caribbean was economic in nature, we predicted that eventually it would become military in nature. We noted that in the last several years Venezuela has been making billions of dollars in arms purchases, including both small arms and more serious weapons like the Sukhoi Su-30 Russian fighter jets and Russian-made attack helicopters. There is also increasing troop movement among the left-wing Latin American states. The military ambitions of Messrs. Chavez, Ortega {of Nicaragua], and Ahmadinejad spell trouble.

The New York Sun highlights the ample reasons for concern about Iran's activities in Central and South America, and the appearance of a possible Iran connection to the JFK Airport terror plot. An article by Eli Lake reports:
As New York police and the FBI interview suspects in an alleged plot to attack John F. Kennedy International Airport, one thread the ongoing investigation will explore is why one of the suspects was planning to go to Iran.

A former Guyanese legislator, Abdul Kadir, was arrested in Trinidad on Friday on a plane bound for Caracas, Venezuela. According to Mr. Kadir's wife, Isha Kadir, he was in the island nation to pick up an Iranian visa so he could attend an Islamic conference in Tehran. Two of Mr. Kadir's children are studying in Iran, according to Mrs. Kadir.

Trinidad's counterterrorism police are also investigating whether one of Mr. Kadir's alleged co-conspirators, a 56-year old Shiite imam in Trinidad named Kareem Ibrahim, had ties to Shiite organizations in southern Iraq and Iran through an Islamic discussion group he hosted, according to the Trinidad Express.
In an editorial, the Sun looks to the larger and even more threatening context:
Our editorial noted that the two promptly retired to Mirafloras, the presidential palace, to sign off on "at least 29 memorandums and letters of intent" and "also reiterated that they would push for OPEC production cuts." That was reported in El Universal. The Associated Press reported they announced plans for a $2 billion joint fund to finance projects that would thwart American domination "This fund, my brother, will become a mechanism for liberation," Mr. Ahmadinejad said to Mr. Chavez during the announcement.

The Iranian president then continued to Nicaragua, where, according to Iran's state-owned Islamic Republic News Agency, he was awarded two state medals by Nicaragua's newly inaugurated president and America's old foe, Daniel Ortega. Agreements were signed to establish diplomatic relations and open embassies in Managua and Tehran, according to El Nuevo Diario in the Nicaraguan capital. Visiting a Nicaraguan slum together, Mr. Ahmadinejad called Mr. Ortega a "symbol of justice," and Mr. Ortega promised to "fight for ... the defense of our sovereignty." [....]

While the Iranian entente with anti-American regimes in South America and the Caribbean was economic in nature, we predicted that eventually it would become military in nature. We noted that in the last several years Venezuela has been making billions of dollars in arms purchases, including both small arms and more serious weapons like the Sukhoi Su-30 Russian fighter jets and Russian-made attack helicopters. There is also increasing troop movement among the left-wing Latin American states. The military ambitions of Messrs. Chavez, Ortega {of Nicaragua], and Ahmadinejad spell trouble.