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Viewing cable 07BRASILIA2132, IRAN-RUSSIA-VENEZUELA TRIANGLE THREATENS REGIONAL

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07BRASILIA2132 2007-11-13 14:02 2011-01-20 00:12 SECRET Embassy Brasilia
VZCZCXRO9093
PP RUEHRG
DE RUEHBR #2132/01 3171441
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 131441Z NOV 07 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0429
INFO RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI 0012
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 6402
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 4378
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 5121
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 3862
RUEHGE/AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN 1361
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ 5760
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 3635
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 7095
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 0343
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 2339
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 6532
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 7356
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 5418
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 1158
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 BRASILIA 002132 

SIPDIS 

C O R R E C T E D COPY - ADDRESSEES ADDED 

SIPDIS 

UNVIE FOR AMB GREG SHULTE 
DOE FOR DOE/NNSA 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/07/2017 
TAGS: PREL MASS BR VE XR RS IR
SUBJECT: IRAN-RUSSIA-VENEZUELA TRIANGLE THREATENS REGIONAL 
STABILITY 

REF: BUENOS AIRES 2191 

BRASILIA 00002132 001.3 OF 003 


Classified By: Ambassador Clifford M. Sobel, reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 

1. (C) Summary. Iran, Russia, and Venezuela are involved 
in an open and growing collaboration with a common purpose to 
make more arms available to radical populist governments and 
spread anti-American ideology in the region, according to the 
chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations and National Defense 
committee. He is "truly concerned" and urges the USG to be 
more engaged "before it is too late." The chairman said 
presidential foreign policy adviser Marco Aurelio Garcia 
strongly recommended Ahmadinejad visit Brazil. Chairman 
Fortes surmised that Foreign Minister Celso Amorim was less 
receptive to the visit. Fortes noted that with the 
increasing wealth of oil-producing states, there are some 
that will support Russian arms purchases, and in 
conversation, the Deputy Minister alluded that perhaps 
Ecuador and even Brazil could become beneficiaries. End 
summary. 

2. (C) During a November 5 phone call, Senator Heraclito 
Fortes (Democrats Party, opposition; of Piaui) asked the 
Ambassador to meet with him urgently to raise a matter he 
could not discuss on the telephone. In a meeting that 
afternoon, which continued the next morning, Fortes told the 
Ambassador, poloff, and assistant army attache that he is 
"truly concerned" about Iranian and Venezuelan activities in 
the region, including financing "friendship organizations" 
between congresses and even potentially financing arms sales. 
He described a recent meeting with the Iranian Deputy 
Minister for Petroleum and former Ambassador to Brazil who 
sought "cooperation" with Brazil, the nature of which 
"depends on Brazil." (Note: This is Dr. Mansour Moazami, 
Iranian Ambassador to Brazil from 2000 until about 2003. End 
note.) He spoke of Iran's growing relationship with 
Venezuela and Ecuador and even indicated that the recent trip 
of President Putin to Iran was extremely successful and dealt 
with many of the difficult issues that had to be resolved. 
In mentioning arms sales, Chairman Fortes again underscored 
Iran's interest in helping Brazil, depending on Brazil own 
interest. The Deputy Minister told Fortes that Iran already 
has agreements with Bolivia and Ecuador, but it was not made 
clear to Fortes whether these were arms agreements. 

Connecting the Dots 
------------------- 

3. (C) Fortes sees a sequence of dots showing more 
Venezuelan influence and interference in the region, Iranian 
support for Caracas, La Paz, and Quito, and the specter of 
Russian arms in the region. 

4. (C) Fortes said the Iranian Deputy Minister described 
President Vladimir Putin's recent visit to Iran as very good, 
resolving many differences between them; the Iranian 
mentioned Russian arms sales to Venezuela, Russian relations 
with Venezuela, as well as Venezuelan support for Bolivian 
and Ecuador, praised Venezuela, and mentioned Venezuela's 
recent acquisition of 26 warplanes, claiming they are to 
maintain peace. The Deputy Minister, a former ambassador to 
Brazil and one who knows Brazil, told Fortes it is up to 
Brazil to determine how it wanted to work with Iran, and 
through thinly veiled references asked the chairman of the 
Foreign Relations and National Defense Committee if he was 
interested in reviving the Friendship Group that previously 
had as its leader a former senator of, as Fortes implied, 
questionable character. Fortes said he had never been 
approached that way in his career. He said the moribund 
group will likely be revived in the Senate without his 
support. Fortes said he believed there was pressure from 
unknown quarters within Brazil to purchase Russian arms, 
adding that the Air Force Commander, General Juniti Saito, 
told him if he (Saito) were pushed to buy Russian weapons he 

BRASILIA 00002132 002.3 OF 003 


would have no option, and Fortes thought it would be a huge 
mistake. 

5. (C) Fortes continued pointing out worrisome signs: 
leftist Venezuelan, Bolivian, and Peruvian deputies who are 
trying to reactivate the Caracas-based Amazonian Parliament 
(Parlamaz) were visiting Brasilia Nov 5-8 to lobby the 
Brazilian Congress, and there are now "Bolivarian circles" in 
Brazil that media have reported as being under Venezuelan 
tutelage. Official Venezuelan diplomacy is increasingly 
commercial, with huge contracts for firms such as Brazilian 
construction giant Odebrecht, who then lobby for Venezuela, 
Fortes noted. The expanded availability of the type of arms 
in Venezuela that could be used for populist causes in Brazil 
was also of concern to the senator. Fortes said it may not 
be coincidental that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey 
Kislyak arrived in Brasilia the same day as Iranian Deputy 
Petroluem Minister and he speculated there may have been a 
three-way meeting with Brazilians, the Russian, and the 
Iranian. 

6. (S) Iranian outreach plans in the region include another 
Ahmadinejad trip including Brazil, probably for the next 
inauguration of a Latin American president, making the trip a 
springboard for Iranian regional diplomacy, Fortes said. 
(Note: Ahmadinejad canceled a scheduled visit here last 
September on short notice.) Presidential foreign policy 
adviser Marco Aurelio Garcia supported the Iranian 
president's visit, which may not have been supported by 
Foreign Minister Celso Amorim, Fortes said, and the Iranian 
Deputy Minister, who was in the traveling delegation to 
Caracas and La Paz, said he tried everything up to the last 
minute to get it reinstated. Fortes added that the Deputy 
Minister was very disappointed at the cancellation, 
especially since an Iranian advance team was already on the 
ground in Brasilia. The senator indicated that he thought 
that despite Garcia's strong support for the Ahmadinejad 
visit, Celso Amorim may have intereceded due to the 
sensitivities. Sensitive reporting indicates, though that 
the reasons were other. 

"You Are Children" 
------------------ 

7. (C) Fortes strongly urged the USG to engage much more 
"before it is too late." The USG is "indifferent" to what is 
happening in the region and he urged the USG to take notice 
of Venezuelan, Russian, and Iranian plans in the region, 
saying, "You are children: you ignore a problem until it is 
well along and then it is too late." He suggested the USG 
adopt a plan for regional integration and promote arms 
manufacturing partnerships with Brazil and Argentina to arm 
the region, and said it could be done indirectly through arms 
firms without publicly linking the USG to the increased arms 
sales. 

8. (S) Comment. Iranian and Venezuelan influence in Brazil 
and the region is certainly growing and mutually reinforcing, 
and Chairman Fortes is correct that there are differing views 
on how to engage Iran, but clearly Brazil will be 
increasingly sensitive to Iranian interests. It is also 
interesting to recall President Lula's remarks on the margins 
of the last UN General Assembly when he said Iran was not in 
violation of any UN guidelines with its nuclear program, as 
well as Brazil's abstention on November 7 in the Interpol 
vote to issue international capture notices for Iranian 
officials accused in the AMIA bombing (reftel). Chairman 
Fortes's concerns parallel recent views we have heard 
reporting on increasing Brazilian concerns over Venezuelan 
arms purchases, the lack of a modernized Brazilian defense 
capability, and increasing engagement of Venezuelan diplomats 
in Brazil funding Bolivarian Circles and populist 
organizations. Chairman Fortes is not alone in his feeling, 
especially given the recent remarks of former president and 

BRASILIA 00002132 003.2 OF 003 


sitting senator Jose Sarney, a leader of the Brazilian 
Democratic Movement Party. 

Sobel