December 6, 2011
In late November, the U.N. General Assembly voted to approve a resolution condemning acts of violence against diplomats and calling on Iran to bring to justice those who attacked the British embassy in Tehran.
Astoundingly, nine member states voted against resolution A/RES/66/12. While 106 member states were quick to denounce violence and terrorism and vote for the resolution, these nine dissented, claiming that the condemnation of Iran is unjust without more evidence of its involvement in the plot.
Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Cuba, and Ecuador made up the majority of the nine member states that voted against the resolution. These five countries have more in common than identical votes: They are members of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of America, known by its Spanish initials as ALBA. ALBA was created to offer member countries alternatives to trading with the U.S. However, it is clear that this group is about more than economic policies. Over the years, ALBA nations have exhibited close ties to Iran, a fact only reinforced by the U.N. vote. Last year, the same five countries met in Tehran, where they officially condemned sanctions imposed on Iran.
The flourishing relationship between Venezuela and Iran is particularly disturbing, Gieselman argues, since there are reports that Hezbollah is operating, and at least raising funds, in Venezuela.
While most U.N. member states supported the resolution, the Gang of Five’s anti-U.S., pro-Iran agenda is something the Obama administration should monitor more closely.
How should the Obama administration deal with these radical Latin American countries? Tell us in the comments.