On 1 May 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blew the whistle on the construction of a huge Iranian Embassy in Managua during her Dean Acheson Auditorium speech (photo: Michael Gross/State Department).

While the US military-industrial complex and joint staff have tuned down their rhetoric on Iran, especially since the Baker-Hamilton report and the “revolt of the generals” [1], Israeli and Anglo-Saxon neo-conservatives have increased communication campaigns against Iran.

Public opinion in the West has been brainwashed and people now believe that President Ahmadinejad does not want to end the apartheid in Palestine, but to get rid of the Israelis [2]; it is also believed that he is looking to build an atomic bomb, although Imam Khomeini declared that such a weapon of mass destruction is against the values of Islam. In June 2009, Western public opinion was manipulated into believing that Iran today is a religious dictatorship which rigged the presidential elections and violently suppressed popular demonstrations. What really took place was a test of strength within the ruling class, where high-bourgeoisie (including the high clergy around Ayatollah Rafsanjani) tried – with the support of the US and the UK – to overthrow a populist party of former combatants in the war against Iraq, protected by the Supreme Leader [3].

However, a new front in the war on truth was opened by the neo-cons: the "Iranian Connection" in Latin America.

Iranian and Venezuelan presidents, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez.

The Latin American revolutionary block (Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Santo Domingo, Venezuela) and the Middle Eastern revolutionary block (Iran, Lebanese Resistance, Palestinian Resistance, Syria) are known to have come closer in order to both circumvent the US restrictions imposed on them and to create alternative international institutions to counter those controlled by Washington. The goal of the propaganda is to spread the belief that these States and political groups (which have developed a policy based on the nonaligned movement) have a hidden military agenda plan and expansionist views.

The trial balloon for this campaign was launched in an article by the US based Argentinean columnist Andrés Oppenheimer in the Miami Herald [4]. According to the journalist, who commented on President Ahmadinejad’s Latin America tour, Iran is not only seeking to break its diplomatic isolation, but also to export its "fascist" (sic) ideology to take the United States by surprise. Incidentally, Oppenheimer denounces the growing presence of obscure Iranian diplomatic personnel in Latin America, particularly in Nicaragua.
The scoop is all the more striking coming from a journalist who built his reputation on the Irangate revelation, when the Reagan administration supported the Contras in Nicaragua without the knowledge of Congress, through a complex Israeli scheme which guaranteed Ayatollah Rafsanjani’s personal fortune.

This story could have gone unnoticed had it not been relayed during a congressional hearing by Nancy Menges. As an "expert" she was asked by Senator Eliot Engel to testify on 5 March 2008 on developments in Cuba after Fidel Castro’s illness. She was introduced to parliament as a member of the Center for Security Policy, the hawks’ think tank in Washington [5]. Those who know who’s who in Washington know that despite the age difference, she is the widow of Constantine Menges. This colorful character was CIA’s Latin America Director and an adviser to Ronald Reagan. He is remembered for his support of the Contras in Nicaragua and for the invasion of Grenada. Ms. Menges honors the memory of her husband and continues the publication of his newsletter, The Americas Report.

Ms. Menges told her listeners not to rejoice too quickly about the illness of Comandante Castro, since socialist Cuba was being replaced by Bolivarian Venezuela in the "free world’s" nightmares. Worse yet, Hugo Chavez, according to her, opened the continent’s door to the Iranian revolutionary Islamists and to Hezbollah and Hamas guerrillas. After having discussed a plethora of frightening rumors, including the possible supply of uranium by Venezuela and Bolivia to Iran, or the influence of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion on Hugo Chavez, Nancy Menges declared:
« Iran’s presence can be felt in Nicaragua as well. Iran recently established a huge embassy in Managua. Diplomats have immunity coming and going and the building is protected from espionage. There is no control over the movements of Iranian diplomats. In mid 2007 it was discovered that Ortega permitted 21 Iranians to enter the country without visas. This clearly shows that the Ortega regime, like Chavez, is not monitoring who is entering their respective countries. This could have serious implications for the security of our region » [6].

While Nancy Menges testified in the House, her friend Michael Rubin published a brief report for the American Enterprise Institute, entitled "Iran’s Global Ambition " [7]. Rubin was an advisor to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on Iraq and Iran. He actively participated in the propaganda effort which served to justify the invasion of Iraq, then joined the leadership of the Coalition Provisional Authority. He campaigned for extending the war, first against Syria, then against Iran and publicly advocated the murder of their presidents.

Speaking to an audience with poor knowledge of Middle Eastern history, Michael Rubin helped create the myth of an expansionist Iran. In this short report, a variety of rumors were accumulated, which served his goal of demonizing Iran. Among them, he reused Oppenheimer’s scoop: "Iran’s embassy in Managua is now the largest diplomatic mission in the city."

What is only a news "scoop" or expert "intelligence" becomes official truth when confirmed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. During a Town Hall Meeting with the Department of State staff during Foreign Affairs Day on 1 May 2009, she said: " I don’t think in today’s world, where it’s a multipolar world, where we are competing for attention and relationships with at least the Russians, the Chinese, the Iranians, that it’s in our interest to turn our backs on countries in our own hemisphere. (...) We are looking to figure out how to deal with [President] Ortega. The Iranians are building a huge embassy in Managua, and you can only imagine what it’s for. » [8] In short, we must find a solution before the Islamic Revolution sets up camp at the United States’ door.

The presidents of Nicaragua and Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Daniel Ortega.

Immediately, talk shows were organized on all U.S. networks, where discussions focused on the secret military actions that the Revolutionary Guards of Iran were bound to stir from their imposing headquarters in Managua. Connie Mack, a Florida Republican representative, said in a conference call with reporters organized by the Israel Project on 1 June 2009 [9]: « The growing influence of Iran in the Western Hemisphere reminds me of the relationship between Russia (sic) and Cuba when we dealt with the Cuban missile crisis. »

What a flop! In its 13 July 2009 edition, the Washington Post reveals that the construction site for the Iranian mega-embassy never existed [10].This is not an exaggeration or a distortion, it is simply an invention.

Iran opened in recent years 6 new embassies in Latin America, in addition to the existing 4. That makes 10 in total for 33 Latin states. In Managua, Iran is represented by an ambassador. He lives with his wife in a rented apartment. No trace of « shadowy diplomats coming and going », let alone military advisers. There was a project to build a small house-like embassy, but it was quickly abandoned because of a lack of funds. Political relations between Nicaragua and Iran are excellent, but the economic exchanges are non-existent due to a persisting Nicaraguan debt of $ 160 million.

Pressed with questions, the Department of State spokesman, Ian Kelly, had to make a pathetic retreat. Rather than acknowledging Mrs. Clinton’s mistake, he welcomed the good news of the absence of an Iranian mega-embassy in Managua, even though the U.S. are in no position to give advice to anyone in regards to the size of their diplomatic representations [11]. When he was asked about the source of the Secretary of State’s false information, Mr. Kelly attempted a diversion about a U.S. university scholar detained in Iran. After all, the truth about what the Iranians are blamed for is irrelevant; the important thing is to reaffirm that they are dangerous.

Since George Bush denounced an imaginary anti-U.S. military pact between Iran, Iraq and North Korea (the ’Axis of Evil’), political leaders in Washington have changed, but not the methods.

titre documents joints

Iran’s Global Ambition, by Michael Rubin (American Enterprise Institute), March 2008.

(PDF - 133.7 KiB)

English version by J.C.

[1« Washington décrète un an de trêve globale », par Thierry Meyssan, Réseau Voltaire, 3 December 2007.

[2« Reuters participates in a propaganda campaign against Iran », Voltaire Network, 14 November 2005.

[4« Beware Iran in Latin America », par Andrés Oppenheimer, Miami Herald, 30 September 2007.

[5« Washington’s manipulators », par Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, 13 November 2002.

[6Full text.

[7See attached document.

[8Full text.

[9« Venezuela and Iran: The Case for Concern », Full recording (MP3 format).

[10« Iran’s Invisible Nicaragua Embassy. Feared Stronghold Never Materialized », Anne-Marie O’Connor and Mary Beth Sheridan, Washington Post, 13 July 2009.

[11Full text of the Department of State daily press briefing on 13 July 2009.