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Diplomat: Iran opposes US base deal for Colombia
08/12/2009
Iran's foreign minister said Wednesday that his country opposes an impending deal to expand the US military's presence in Colombia. Manouchehr Mottaki spoke in Bolivia on a tour of Latin America, where Tehran has cultivated closer ties - especially with leftist-led nations that are pushing for more distance from US policy. "The Islamic Republic of Iran is against foreign military bases anywhere in the world," he said. Colombian officials say the proposed 10-year lease agreement would give US forces access to at least seven military bases to boost anti-drug efforts. Bogota says the deal would not push the number of American troops and civilian military contractors beyond 1,400 - the maximum currently permitted by US law. But the plan has nevertheless drawn opposition from a number of leaders nervous about a greater US presence in the region.
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