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Cablegate: Bolivia: Evo's Iranian Visit

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 LA PAZ 001873

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER BL
SUBJECT: BOLIVIA: EVO'S IRANIAN VISIT

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Cooperation and Defense of Iran's Nuclear Program
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1. Bolivian President Evo Morales finished an official
two-day visit to Libya and Iran by issuing a joint statement
with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declaring that the
"interference of the United Nations Security Council (in
Iran's nuclear program) has no legal or technical
justification." The joint statement highlights the "peaceful
nature" of Iran's nuclear activities, adding that Bolivia and
Iran will continue their struggle against imperialism.
Ahmadinejad used the occasion of Morales' visit to Tehran to
announce that Iran and Bolivia will "stick by each other's
side...The geographical distance between the two countries is
long but our hearts, thoughts and wills are very close."
Ahmadinejad congratulated Morales for "standing up to
foreigners" and commented that "it is not important what
bad-tempted governments say about our relationship." The two
presidents also signed a joint statement calling for an
expansion in cooperation on energy, industry, and trade
between the two nations.

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Confronting "Hegemony"
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2. According to media reports, Iran's supreme leader
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Morales on September 1 that "The
awakening of the Latin American nations and their will to
fulfill their rights is an auspicious event which will
definitely make the big powers unhappy." Urging Morales to
oppose U.S. policies, Khamenei was quoted on Iranian
television as saying, "Hegemonic powers will obviously
pressure you because they are opposed to such spirit, but
resistance against these pressures and reliance on God will
lead to victory." Morales responded, "Struggles and popular
uprising in Latin American nations against America's
imperialism is inevitable. Latin America will never be
America's safe backyard to plunder and pursue its wicked
ideas."

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Military Cooperation
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3. The Bolivian national news service (ABI) reports that in a
visit with the Iranian Defense Minister, Morales received a
promise of support from Iran to modernize the Bolivian Armed
Forces. According to ABI, "Iranian defense officials
explained that they are armed to defend themselves, not to be
aggressive toward anyone, and for that reason production of
weaponry is important."

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Further Comments from Morales
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4. In an interview with Iranian television, Morales said that
Iraq and Afghanistan have become a "second Vietnam" for the
United States. Morales later commented that Iranians and
Bolivians "will like to see how their leaders fight
imperialism and defend the interests of their countries....In
the past, Bolivia was not allowed to change its ministers or
ambassadors. It had to be done through the U.S. ambassador.
But today, freedom-seeking in Latin American nations is
spreading." Morales declared, "In this visit to Tehran we

LA PAZ 00001873 002 OF 002


will encourage even more these (bilateral)
relations...Nothing and no country will impede our relations
with the revolutionary nation of Iran...I will never regret
having come."
GOLDBERG

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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