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Israel, Colombia offsetting Iranian influence

Posted By F. Michael Maloof On 09/09/2012 @ 4:40 pm In Front Page,U.S.,World | No Comments

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WASHINGTON – Israel is increasing dramatically drone sales to Columbia and other Latin American countries, and the move is expected to have the effect of assisting U.S. policy in limiting Iran’s influence in the region, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

U.S. ally Columbia has been of major assistance to the United States in offsetting the influence of Iran’s allies, which include Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Ecuador.

Israel will be selling its Hermes 450 and 900 unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, to provide Columbia with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

The drones also will be used to fight the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia, or FARC, a rebel group that is supported by the leftist regime of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

For its part, Israel has embarked on a policy of fostering relations with Columbia and other Latin American countries to blunt Iran’s growing influence in the region.

According to the open-source Langley Intelligence Group, or Lignet, there is increasing concern that with these drones and other weapons systems sold in Latin America, technology transfers could be particularly damaging.

Israel also is considering the sale of the technically sophisticated Merkava Mark IV tank and the Namer armored personnel carrier to Columbia.

Ironically, Israel’s arms sales to Latin America have been on the rise, while U.S. arms sales to the region have been on the decline. Israel also has increased military sales to Mexico and Brazil.

Some sources believe that Israel’s arms sales are its primary means of gaining influence in the region while giving its defense industry a big boost.

Israel also sees in Latin America a potential arms market as the U.S. and European countries reduce their defense sales.

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