AFP: Iran is unlikely to play a constructive role in Latin America, a US official said Tuesday after Iran’s president created a strategic fund with ally Venezuela during a tour of the region. WASHINGTON, Jan 16, 2007 (AFP) – Iran is unlikely to play a constructive role in Latin America, a US official said Tuesday after Iran’s president created a strategic fund with ally Venezuela during a tour of the region.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Venezuela, Nicaragua and Ecuador in the past few days, seeking support from their leftist presidents amid UN sanctions over Tehran’s disputed nuclear program.
Ahmadinejad and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced Saturday the creation of a two-billion-dollar strategic fund for joint investments in “friendly” nations in Latin America and Africa.
“Iran’s track record does not suggest it wishes to play a constructive role in the (Western) Hemisphere,” said a US State Department official, who requested anonymity.
“The US has a positive agenda in the Hemisphere and we are working with our partners to strengthen democracy, promote prosperity and invest in people,” the official said.
After visiting Venezuela on Saturday, Ahmadinejad met with Nicaragua’s new president, former Sandinista guerrilla leader Daniel Ortega, on Sunday and attended the presidential inauguration of Rafael Correa in Ecuador on Monday.
The United States and other Western powers secured a UN Security Council resolution in December imposing sanctions on Tehran over its refusal to suspend its uranium enrichment program.
The United States accuses Iran of seeking a nuclear weapon under the cover of a civilian atomic program, a charge fiercely rejected by Tehran which insists it only wants to provide energy for a growing population.