The Washington Post recently supplied additional hard evidence of Iran’s aggressive diplomatic work at ground level in South America to advance its strategic goals there. A must-read for followers of this blog, the article by its respected correspondent Joby Warrick represents a sobering testimony to the manner in which Tehran abuses diplomatic privilege.
Content of the report is worth repeating here in some detail. It tells of “Carlos,” a Mexican law student who found himself targeted by Iranian diplomacy for recruitment purposes. According to his account, back in 2010 he met Mohammad Ghadiri, then Tehran’s ambassador to Mexico, at an Iranian embassy function. After expressing an interest in Islam, within a few months he was on a plane to Tehran with a scholarship – secured by the ambassador.
During a three-month stay, he underwent an “immersion” course in “anti-Americanism and Islam” in Spanish – with two dozen other Latin American students.
The graduates of these indoctrination schools returned back home as “committed disciples” and some are, in Carlos’s words, “crazy-obsessed” – becoming part of Tehran’s “capability to provide logistic, economic and operative support to terrorist attacks decided by the Islamic regime.” In this context, they help recruit more operatives through the mosques and cultural centers that have emerged throughout South America.
This is not the first mention of the involvement of Iranian diplomats in general, and Ghadiri in particular, when it comes to the recruiting of Latin American students. Indeed, in late 2011 the media exposed an Iran-Venezuela cyberplot intended to disrupt the websites of strategic US targets. Ghadiri was there, too.
Interestingly enough, one of the Iranian diplomats interviewed in that case admitted to contact with the students but insisted that he rejected the plan – not because it was an inappropriate situation for a diplomat, but rather because he thought the group was working for the CIA…