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Propaganda, Narratives and Influence in Latin America: Iran, Hezbollah and Al-Tajammu

Since the end of the last century, Latin America has been a prominent area in which Iran has sought to expand its influence and scope of action. From drug smuggling to money laundering, from fundraising to recruitment and proselytism, even terrorist attacks, Iran-related activities in Latin America have been in motion from the Bolivarian Venezuela in the north to Argentina in the south, from the Chile in the west to Brazil in the east.

However, Iran has not been working on its own. It is not wrong to say that, in most cases, ubi Iran, ibi Hezbollah. The Lebanese Party of God not only was related to the terrorist attack against the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires (1992) or to the AMIA bombing (1994) but also, they have carried out fundraising, propaganda and smuggling operations.[1]

Furthermore, other pro-Iranian organizations such as Al-Tajammu are playing a remarkable role in the spread of Iranian influence in the region. Al-Tajammu[2] is a pro-Iranian Lebanon-based organization with connections to Hezbollah, Shiite militias as well as with other terrorist organizations such as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad or the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

All these actors are taking advantage of the internet, webpages and the new social media platforms, as well as the points of convergence at the ideological level that they share with the radical revolutionary left characteristic of Latin America, mainly emphasizing the anti-imperialism discourse.

This paper focuses on the networks of Iran, Hezbollah and the pro-Iranian Al-Tajammu; the dissemination and broadcast channels, including radio stations, webpages, or YouTube channels, as well as the nexus, narrative and collaboration shared between Islamism and left-wing positions, the so-called red-green alliance, , mainly focusing on two countries, Argentina and Chile. The information offered in this paper is based on open-sources material, including different social medial networks.

[1] For a more in-depth analysis on Hezbollah in LATAM, see D. Marinides, “Hezbollah in Latin America: A Potential Grey Zone Player in Great Power Competition”, Perry Center Occasional Paper, William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies (2021).

[2] M. Barak, “Al-Tajammu: a Pro-Iranian International Platform to Leverage the Resistance Axis”, International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (2021).