Morales Confirms Bolivia's Alignment with Iran
Los Tiempos, Cochabamba, 31-Aug-2010: President Evo Morales qualified Iran as a pacificist country and Israel as a terrorist country and criticized the United Nations for not putting a halt to the "Israeli nuclear race".
"I want to tell the world: there are countries that are organizing and preparing to defend themselves and they are pacifist countries (alluding to Iran) but there are also countries that are arming themselves to invade and these are terrorist countries (Israel). That's the situation we're living today in the world," he said.
Morales made these statements yesterday after meeting with an Iranian delegation presided over by the Minister of Industry and Mining, Ali Akbar Mahrabian, who arrived to sign a line of credit to be invested in various projects.
"According to reports from several sources, Israel has between 60 and 200 nuclear bombs have not been declared or investigated. There is no United Nations commission to impose sanctions on them," said the president, without indicating what those sources of information are.
"On the other hand," he stated, "Iran is constantly threatened by the United States" despite the fact that "official international reports" confirm, according to Morales, that the Islamic country "does not have a single nuclear bomb".
"Here we have to ask our selves why Iran is being punished while Israel is allowed to have an illegal nuclear arsenal," questioned the president.
Morales broke diplomatic relations with Israel at the beginning of 2009 when Israeli troops entered the Gaza Strip. In September 2007, Bolivia formalized diplomatic relations with Iran. At the time this was seen by former chancellors and opposition political leaders as complex and they warned the president to be careful about sustaining a relationship with a country that is questioned over its nuclear program.
Yesterday the president announced the the Minister of Planning, Viviana Caro, would travel to Iran in September to advance on details regarding economic cooperation and indicated he also would travel again to Tehran, on an unspecified date, after having accepted an invitation from his Iranian peer, Mahmoud Ahmadineyad, who has also visited La Paz previously.
Yesterday the president once again accused the United States of promoting intervention in other countries and using the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking as an excuse.
"You know that countries use drug trafficking and terrorism as a pretext to invade, but we are obligated as a people to form a world people's movement for peace to ensure the death mercenaries do not once again sow mourning among humanity to impose their dominion upon the world," he said.
Along this same line, Morales Ayma reminded listeners that per its constitution, Bolivia is a pacifist country, but that it has a right to "prepare to defend itself if there is an invasion".
According to the president, the central objective of all countries of the United Nations is to "defend life, humanity and ensure equality with dignity so there can be social peace in the world, peace for all the peoples of the world", but he stated that is a separate debate.
The Iranian minister announced that his country would continue to cooperate with Bolivia based on an extensive program that President Mahmoud Ahmadineyad signed with Morales during his visit to La Paz in September of 2007 when he signed a 1 billion dollar aid plan for various sectors, including hydrocarbons.
"Based on mutual respect we will develop our cooperation with Bolivia and we hope for a brilliant future of collaboration between the two countries," stated the Iranian minister.
"Fortunately, both countries have common objectives in the international community. We believe multi-lateralism must be the current way of doing things," said Mehrabian.
- Bolivia broke diplomatic relations with Israel at the beginning of 2009 when Israeli troops entered the Gaza Strip.
- The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadineyad, visited La Paz on 27 September 2007 to sign a billion dollar aid plan with his peer, Evo Morales, for various sectors of Bolivia including hydrocarbons. At the time, the two presidents formalized diplomatic relations and mutual cooperation.
- Ahmadineyad returned to Bolivia at the end of 2009 and at the time delivered projects from his country to Bolivia, among them two milk plants and a hospital.
Read this Article in Spanish
Source: Los Tiempos