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Distorting Iranian-Latin American Relations

According to an article in the Israeli daily Haaretz entitled “Iran, Venezuela plan to build rival to Panama Canal”, the current border dispute between Costa Rica and Nicaragua—in which the former country has accused the latter of sending military troops into its territory along the San Juan River during a river dredging project—is a “trial balloon” for a new Iranian-funded “‘Nicaragua Canal’ linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans”. The article takes care to specify that Costa Rica is “a country without an army” but does not suggest whether the announcement earlier this year regarding U.S. naval militarization of the Central American nation might also have constituted a trial balloon for something.

While the article goes on to state that “[t]he plan has aroused concern in Washington, and the U.S. has started behind the scenes efforts to foil it”, this information is curiously juxtaposed with other details such as that “[a] U.S. State Department official told Haaretz’s Washington correspondent Natasha Mozgovaya on Wednesday that the U.S. is not aware of any plans to build a new canal in Latin America”.