Tracker

Paraguay-Iran Foreign Relations

March 3, 2010
Flag of Paraguay (Available at Wikimedia Commons)
 
Nuclear:

Paraguay is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, which released a statement in July 2008, saying that the member states “welcomed the continuing cooperation being extended by the Islamic Republic of Iran to the IAEA” and “reaffirmed that states’ choices and decisions, including those of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear technology and its fuel cycle policies must be respected.”[1]

[Click here for more information on the Non-Aligned Movement.]

 

Economic Relationship:

Paraguay and Iran do not have an extensive bilateral economic relationship.[2] However, Iranian-sponsored Hezbollah, have built an extensive smuggling network active in Paraguay’s rural and poorly-policed tri-border region with Argentina and Brazil.[3]

 

Diplomatic/Military Relationship:

Iran and Paraguay have begun developing a diplomatic relationship since the election of Paraguay’s President Lugo in April 2008. Both Iran and its Latin American ally, Venezuela, supported Lugo’s campaign for the presidency through fundraising drives, particularly in Paraguay’s tri-border region. [4] Iranian media has also praised President Lugo, a former minister, as “a man of God and an enemy of the Great Satan,” [5] the United States. President Lugo stated in August of 2008 that he wanted to expand ties with Venezuela and Bolivia, both of which enjoy an extensive relationship with Iran. [6 

In May 2009, Paraguay Foreign Minister Hector Lactognata told Iranian ambassador to Paraguay Morteza Tafreshi that his government was eager to boost its diplomatic ties with Iran.   He added that Paraguay supports Iran’s resistance to the “imperialist powers.” Tafreshi said that Tehran is eager to expand ties with Latin America, particularly Paraguay.[7]

In February 2009, an Iranian delegation visited Paraguay to negotiate agricultural trade and technological cooperation.[8]



[1] Statement On The Islamic Republic Of Iran’s Nuclear Issue, 15th Ministerial Conference Of The Non-Aligned Movement, Tehran, July 27-30, 2008
[2] Webb, Braden, Paraguay’s Persian Presence: Iran’s New Friend In Latin America, Council on Hemispheric Affairs, August 21, 2008
[3] “Hezbollah Builds A Western Base: From Inside South America’s Tri-Border Area, Iran-Linked Militia Targets U.S.,” Telemundo and MSNBC, May 9, 2007
[4] Webb, Braden, Paraguay’s Persian Presence: Iran’s New Friend In Latin America, Council on Hemispheric Affairs, August 21, 2008
[5] Webb, Braden, Paraguay’s Persian Presence: Iran’s New Friend In Latin America, Council on Hemispheric Affairs, August 21, 2008
[6] “Iran Official Attends Paraguay Presidential Inauguration,” IRNA in BBC, August 16, 2008
[7] IRNA, http://www.irna.ir/En/View/FullStory/?NewsId=508601&IdLanguage=3
[8] “Iran Eyes Enhanced Cooperation in Trade, Technology with Paraguay,” China View, February 3, 2009. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-02/04/content_10760997.htm