Iran is conducting anti-U.S. operations from Latin America, including military training camps in Venezuela, and expanding its reach across the border from the U.S. in Mexico, according to footage unveiled late Thursday by the largest Spanish-language network in the United States, Univision.
The documentary showed a former Iran senior official accepting a plan to launch from Mexico a cyber war on the United States, one that would cripple U.S. computer systems, including the White House, the FBI, the CIA and several nuclear plants. The official, former Iranian Ambassador to Mexico Mohammad Hassan Ghadiri, was shown accepting the offer from undercover Mexican university students. A trailer to the documentary can be seen here.
The documentary also showed the undercover Mexican students presenting plans for the cyber attack to Venezuelan officials in Mexico. The Venezuelan official was very receptive to the plot, saying that she was close to Venezuela’s hard-leftist President Hugo Chavez and that she would love to share the information with him as soon as possible. The same happened with Cuban officials in Mexico, who were equally interested in a plot against the United States.
The students in the documentary appeared to have conducted a sting operation similar to the reports carried out by the American journalist James O’Keefe in the U.S.
The documentary, called “The Iranian Threat,” said that undercover journalists were also able to infiltrate Iranian military training camps working from mosques in Venezuela, though it showed no actual footage of the camps. Univision alleged there were links between the alleged camps and a radical Muslim implicated in the 1994 Buenos Aires bombing of a Synagogue that killed 85 and wounded hundreds. The Iranian lives in Argentina, a country which also has strong ties to Chavez.
Ties between the hard line Islamist government in Tehran and the anti-American government of President Hugo Chavez have been growing for years, including a weekly secretive Cairo-Tehran flight that is of grave concerns to U.S. officials.
Undercover journalists also confirmed Iranian-backed money-laundry and drug-trafficking cartels that are used to back Islamist networks and training camps in Venezuela and elsewhere, which exist to attack U.S. interests and undermine the U.S. in Latin America.
Univision said in press release that it had “dozens of hours of secret recordings, conducted extensive interviews with people who participated in the meetings, including a former Iranian ambassador, and examined documents ranging from hand-written notes to internal federal reports and obtained unpublished video of a failed bomb attack against New York’s JFK airport. In Mexico, Univision, uncovered covert recordings of the alleged Iranian plan to cripple the computer systems of the White House, the FBI, the CIA and several nuclear power plants.”
The severity of this threat cannot be ignored. The Obama’s Administration has shown its policies in the Middle East have failed. This documentary raises some serious issues that need to be further investigated. We also need a serious commitment to stem the growing presence of terrorist elements in this Hemisphere. Instead, this Administration has stood silently as civil liberties and democratic institutions deteriorate in Latin America inviting Iran and other rabid anti-American forces to fester.
In 2009, President Obama said his Administration was willing to talk to Iran “without preconditions” and would work towards the abolition of nuclear weapons. As this documentary clearly reveals, the Obama Administration’s soft-diplomacy approach has failed.
Israel Ortega is the Editor of Heritage Libertad, www.libertad.org The Heritage Foundation’s Spanish language website. James Phillips is the Senior Research Fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.