Israeli ambassador in Uruguay Dori Goren said that the incorporation of Venezuela of Mercosur should “concern” the countries of the regional block given what he described as “Venezuelan support to Iranian agents that establish terror webs in the region”.
“The incorporation of the government of President Hugo Chavez to Mercosur should be of significant concern for member countries” because in the continent “there are a lot of Iranian agents which operate establishing terror webs under the cover of Venezuela” said ambassador Goren in a Sunday interview with Montevideo’s leading newspaper.
Presidents from Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, Cristina Fernandez, Dilma Rousseff and Jose Mujica are meeting on Tuesday July 31 in Brasilia to ratify the incorporation of Venezuela to the regional block which was approved at the Mendoza Mercosur summit of last 29 June.
President Hugo Chavez has promised to attend Brasilia for what he described as a historic event.
The Venezuelan request to belong to Mercosur dates back to 2006 and after Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil approved it, only Paraguay was pending because the Senate rejected the move arguing the ‘non democratic practices’ of President Hugo Chavez.
Chavez and Israel have had rough relations: the Israeli ambassador Shlomo Cohen was expulsed from Caracas on January 2009 following the Israeli army offensive against Palestinian territory in Gaza.
Chavez also has close relations with those countries aligned against the US beginning with Iran. He has visited Teheran and the Iranian president has been to Venezuela on more than one occasion and has also visited Chavez allies in Bolivia and Nicaragua.
Venezuela and Iran have signed a raft of agreements from trade and investment to defence and development of arms, and the relation is described as “strategic”.
Mercosur on the other hand has a free trade agreement with Israel and according to Ambassador Goren he was informed at the Uruguayan Foreign ministry that “the treaty will not be affected by the inclusion of Venezuela”.
“Venezuela will have to accept the agreements already signed among which obviously the free trade agreement with Israel”, Uruguayan diplomacy informed the Israel ambassador.
Nevertheless “we are waiting to see how things evolve and to what extent the inclusion of Venezuela in Mercosur can affect the trade relation with Israel, bilaterally with each country member and above all with the whole block”.
Ambassador Goren believes that for the moment, Venezuela’s incorporation will not affect diplomatic relations of his country with members of the block.
“Relations with Mercosur block members are very good, but the inclusion of Venezuela implies a very strong political and economic signal”, he emphasized.
Goren added that Israel’s relation with Venezuela “is very bad because it is one of the countries in the world which most supports Iran and particularly Teheran’s nuclear program”.
Iran “can still survive” all international actions because of the “economic support” from Venezuela and the aid it provides Teheran to deviate all economic actions through Venezuelan banks” said Ambassador Goren who underlined “this must be of much concern to Mercosur countries”.