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Setback for Venezuela-Iran Alliance

By Scott Sullivan

26.08.05 | As noted in earlier assessments, Venezuela and Iran are the two principal rogue states and have entered into a tactical alliance aimed at the US. Although last week brought good news for Hugo Chavez in bringing Ecuador into his empire (where the Ecuadorian government caved into demands by Chavez-backed forces in the oil sector), the news for Iran was bad as Iraq began to resist being drawn into Iranís empire. In effect, the Iraq-Iran conflict has resurfaced in the context of the debate on Iraqís constitution. The most significant development in Iraq was the alignment of a major Shiite faction, under Shiek Moqtada al-Sadr, with the Sunnis, Iranís traditional foe. The result is that Iranís takeover of Iraq has been slowed if not blocked altogether. In sum, great success for Chavez in Ecuador, but a big setback for Iran Ė on the whole, a bad week for the Venezuela-Iran Alliance.

Indications are that future developments will be as follows:

-- On the bad news side, Hugo Chavez will take advantage of US preoccupation with Iraq to forge ahead with his takeover of Ecuador and Bolivia, phase II of his plan for regional supremacy (phase I was to take Venezuela, while phase III will be to isolate and weaken Brazil). Chavez will continue to gain ground until someone pushes back, as Iran is now feeling the pressure in Iraq.

-- On the good news side, Sunni/Wahabi terrorism against the US is likely to abate as the Sunnis focus on Iran. Moreover, the Middle East peace process may move ahead for the same reason, and because Iran will be distracted by Iraq.

-- Again on the good news side, and most importantly, the UN will come to be critical of Iran and Venezuela for their imperial ambitions and for destabilizing Iraq and the Andes, respectively. Efforts will finally get underway to contain Iran and Venezuela.

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