'Israel was worried about Iran's S. America influence'

WikiLeaks: US cable reveals that Israeli defense official worked together with Chile gov't to monitor "unusual activity."

By JPOST.COM STAFF
February 21, 2011 08:50
1 minute read.
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Israel was concerned with Iran's growing influence in South America and worked together with the Chilean government to monitor "unusual activity" from the Islamic Republic's envoy to Santiago, a US diplomatic cable from February, 2008 released by WikiLeaks revealed.

Israeli Defense Attache to Chile Yoeli Or said, according to the cable "that he works with Chile's Investigative Police (PDI ) and 'other agencies' sharing information, and providing training when possible."

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The cable said that "while there are no signs of GOI affiliation with terrorist groups in Chile, the Chilean intelligence service and the Israeli government are screening for anything they deem suspicious."

Or told US diplomats that Israel was worried about increasing Iranian presence in Venezuela, Columbia and Iranian influence on Chilean Muslim and Palestinian communities.

The Israeli diplomat stated that ideally "Israel would be doing more to expand trade ties with Latin America, in part to help balance Iran's expanding influence in the region." However, he said that a lack of resources prevented Israel from properly carrying out this plan.

The revelations in the cable come after a number of South American countries at the end of 2010 recognized a Palestinian state.

Brazil was the first of the Latin American countries to initiate the move and was soon followed by countries such as Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Bolivia.

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