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Obama signs law countering Iranian sway in Latin America

Published time: December 30, 2012 04:10
Edited time: December 30, 2012 08:10

US President Barack Obama enacted a law on Friday targeting Iran's alleged influence in Latin America. This comes as Washington already wages a “covert war” against Iran, according to researcher Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich.

The act also calls on the Department of Homeland Security to bolster surveillance at US borders with Canada and Mexico to “prevent operatives from Iran, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, its Quds Force, Hezbollah or any other terrorist organization from entering the United States.”

The Islamic Republic has been expanding its cooperation with Latin America in recent years and has described it as the one of its major foreign policy strategies.

The anti-Iran law comes amid growing tensions surrounding Iran and its nuclear program. The US and its allies suspect Iran of developing nuclear weapon, while it insists on the peaceful nature of its nuclear program.

On Saturday Tehran started a six-day naval drill aimed to show "the armed forces' military capabilities" in confronting enemy threats. The drill, dubbed Velayat 91, is being conducted in the key Strait of Hormuz.

Iran reassured its neighbors of its peaceful intentions but warned any enemies that it takes defending its vital interests very seriously.

The spokesman for the Velayat 91 drill has denied Western media reports that Iran was planning to block the strait during the naval exercise, Press TV reported.

'Covert war against Iran'

The Western media has largely focused on Iran’s alleged plans of blocking the Strait of Hormuz, and ignored the military tension the US is imposing on Iran, writer and independent researcher Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich told RT.

The US has bolstered its naval presence in the Persian Gulf over the year and lead largest-ever war games in the region in September, in which 27 countries were participating. “They were all the way in the Persian Gulf, in Iran’s territory and the media was silent about that,” the expert argued, saying that it is only when Iran shows it cares about its sovereignty and national interest that the media focuses on it.

“To the past 32 years or more the West, specifically the United States, has waged a covert war against Iran. So Iran has been preparing itself and demonstrating its preparedness to defend itself. I don’t believe that Iran would ever take offensive action. If we see more of naval military exercises right now, it’s because the media’s focusing on Iran,” Sepahpour-Ulrich said.