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US unable to restrict Iran's soft power: Commander

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, Jan 7, IRNA -- US is not able to restrict Iran's soft power by spreading Iranophobia, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces for Basij and Defense Culture Brigadier General Massoud Jazzayeri said here on Sunday.

'US Law on Iran's Influence in Latin America is part of a new wave of Washington efforts to spread Iranophobia in the international community; the approval and signing of this law will not stop infiltration of Tehran's anti-arrogance message to the western hemisphere and Latin America; Iran's soft power and discourse is not a threat to the US people and the malfunction of this country's officials is a big challenge to them.'

The commander pointed to the high presence of the US Army around the world, including the Persian Gulf and Iran's neighbors, and added that the world public opinion would ask US officials that while they have military presence in Iran's neighborhood, why they can't tolerate the diplomatic presence of Tehran in Latin America.

'The media hype and certain commentaries which have been inspired by the western and Zionist political, intelligence and security sources about Iran's use of the Latin American states as a platform for infiltration, penetration and attack on the US soil are part of the Iranophobia scenario and (efforts) to convince the public opinion and prepare grounds for global consensus on (the need for taking) threatening action against the Islamic Republic of Iran.'

The commander stressed that 'the Untied States' arrogant nature' was the reason why the US has interpreted the growth in the number of Iranian embassies in Latin America and the strong enthusiasm of the Latin American states for the expansion of their ties with Iran as a 'threat to the US'.

He further reiterated that the US cannot block the promotion of the Iranian nation's anti-arrogance discourse among freedom and justice-seeking nations of the world, the American nation in particular.

His remarks came a few days after US President Barack Obama enacted a law to counter Iran's growing relations with the Latin American countries.

The so-called Countering Iran in Western Hemisphere Act, passed by the US lawmakers, requires the US Department of State to develop a strategy within 180 days to address Iran's growing presence and activity in Latin America.

It also calls on the Department of Homeland Security to increase surveillance at US borders with Canada and Mexico to prevent what it called as 'operatives' from Iran, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, the IRGC's Quds Force, Hezbollah or any other organization from entering the US.

Iran has opened six new embassies in Latin American countries since 2005 -bringing the total to 11, and 17 cultural centers.

Since taking office in 2005, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has expanded Iran's cooperation with many Latin American states, including Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Cuba.

Iran's strong and rapidly growing ties with Latin America have raised eyebrows in the US and its western allies since Tehran and Latin nations have forged an alliance against the imperialist and colonialist powers and are striving hard to reinvigorate their relations with the other independent countries which pursue a line of policy independent from the US.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80488756

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