Iran-Latin America relations suffer: Turkish analyst

By Ahmet Sait Akcay

ANKARA (AA) – Iran’s relationship with Latin American countries has taken a dip as it tries to stay on good terms with the western international powers, an analyst from the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) said Monday.

Speaking at a conference discussing Iran’s relations with Latin America, held at the Center for Iranian Studies in Ankara, Mehmet Ozkan said: “Unlike the past, Iran has lost interest in Latin America as it tries to keep its ties safe with the West.”

Iran got close to Latin American countries in 2005, a long time after its Islamic revolution in 1979, he said.

“Between 2005 and 2013, during the two terms of the sixth president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the relations with these countries reached its peak,” he said.

He added the former president managed to develop bilateral relations with Latin America, mostly based on enmity towards the West.

“But, it came to a standstill recently,” he added.

He attributed the weakening ties to Iran’s nuclear deal as well as the transformation of politics in Latin American countries.

“The main problem for Iran, which is moving to revitalize relations with the continent after 2015, is whether it can expand its field of legitimacy or not.”

He went on to say, Latin America has recently undergone political transformation from left-wing politics to right-wing politics.