The following is from our Portuguese speaking correspondent who has been following events in Brazil closely for some time.
Hi Vlad: Since our last communication, things took an interesting twist with evidences of Iran attempting to influence the presidential election in Brazil.
Two twitter messages from Walid Phares, Specialist in National Security and Foreign Policy at Fox News, mentions Iran’s interference in the presidential election in Brazil.
Hezbollah operates in the trafficking of heavy arms and drugs in South America and has spearheads in Venezuela and in the triple border between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. Hezbollah has connections with the PCC, a network of crime in Brazil.
Certainly, the election of Jair Bolsonaro election will reflect negatively on the criminal actions of this international terrorist group, which, as we are well aware, receives support from the Iranian government. It is also important to remember that Bolsonaro is pro-Israel, and he will modify Brazil’s foreign policy. Brazil will not be aligned with the likes of Iran any longer! Therefore, the worker’s Party (PT) candidate Fernando Haddad must be elected all cost. Brazil’s sovereignty is not in the interest of Iran.
Brazilian sources claim #IranRegime is meddling in Presidential elections especially the second round. #Tehran would lose influence if @jairbolsonaro would be elected. Pro #Iran #Beirut and #Damascus networks are mobilizing their communities in #Brazil 4 #Haddad #JairBolsonaro
— Walid Phares (@WalidPhares) October 13, 2018
The second message is appalling! It indicates that Middle-East Christians are being pressured to ask the powerful Catholic Council of Bishops of Brazil to persuade Catholics to vote against Bolsonaro.
MidEast Christian sources are warning that #Iran and its allies in Iraq, Syria & Lebanon, are putting pressure on Churches in these countries to influence the CNBB (National Council of Bishops in Brazil) 2 break neutrality in Brazil’s Pres election against #JairBolsonaro@FoxNews
— Walid Phares (@WalidPhares) October 13, 2018
A major concern in Brazil is the safety of the electronic vote. Several IT experts claim it can be hacked.
So far, Bolsonaro remains ahead in the pools with a wide margin. Datafolha indicates Bolsonaro with 58% of valid votes against 42% for Haddad.
This is going to get interesting, we are use to ignoring what is going on down south but it looks like we are going to have to pay a lot of attention to that region in the near future.
The Iranian government should pay more attention to it’s own country. Adventures abroad may backfire. Recently I had the opportunity to speak with an Iranian expatriate who made a recent trip home. Upon his arrival at the Tehran airport, while waiting for his luggage, he received a tap on his shoulder. The well-dressed younger man proceeded to make small talk. He was a government agent. Once the fellow’s luggage appeared he was invited for a chat. The next 11/2 hours were spent answering questions and filling out forms. One of the forms asked if he was single or married. The agent told him to check “single”. “No”, he said, “I am married so I will check married.” This may have been a lucky decision.
He knew that he was in some danger, and if made to stay in interrogation overnight he may never get away. Luckily, he was able to convince the agent(s) that he was apolitical. According to his estimation they were looking for people who were, firstly, against the state and, secondly, for the state. Enemies could be eliminated, and assets could be exploited abroad.
He said that some demonstrators against the regime are comprised of agents used as bait to draw dissidents out of the woodwork. These fake demonstrators attract genuine protestors who can then be identified. These people, and their families, will be then be subjected to retribution by the regime. It doesn’t matter if regime critics are in Tehran, Frankfurt, or Toronto. The Iranian government has agents home and abroad. Some are in foreign police forces and governments positions. He said Iran was very good at this kind of deception.
My acquaintance made a rather dramatic departure from his previous political bearing. Perhaps it was this recent episode that altered his perspective. Previously, he was quick to blame the U.S. and Israel for all the world’s woes. No longer. He now thought that it was specifically the subterfuge of the Iranian government against Israel that was to blame for Iran’s problems.
The day of his arrival he fell ill with coughing, sneezing, and general weakness. The cars are covered in silt, he said. He was convinced that the gasoline burned in automobiles is substandard. Maybe PTrump’s sanctions are having an impact. Much bad gasoline is released into the air as uncombusted fuel. It is imported from Pakistan, he said, and was convinced it was the source of his illness. My guess is that it is low in octane.
I suppose benzene and its unburned derivatives are not conducive to good respiration. The day he departed, his sinuses cleared up.
It’s a good blog.
Why would any expat risk going “home” to Iran? They don’t recognize dual-citizenship. If you make it out, everybody you visit becomes a hostage.
I wouldn’t trust any of them. All the organized diaspora opposition organizations are riddled with regime agents. The Western obamanoids – “constructive engagement” – are promoting the regime agenda. Lavish tourism -“Experience Persia” with the BBC!” – money-4-mullahs.
All the demonstrations have a large secret police component. They even post some of the protest videos to capture to-from data.
He’s gone “home” quite a few times, but this is the first time he’s had this trouble, as far as I know. And I agree with you that it’s a foolish risk. Next time he may not be so lucky.
I wouldn’t trust if I were an Iranian exile. Doesn’t seem appropriate, such nonchalance. Tardish fatalism?
He could be turned too easily – threats to his family relayed to him, promises, whatever.
When reading this article and the Rickards article the url leads too remember the article in todays readers links about how the housing market in China is tanking. The reports show that China is in more economic trouble then they want us to know about. Things are going to get real nasty if China and Iran misread things as badly as they seem to be.
The Mandate of Heaven has a high tolerance threshold, but Xi might be pushing it.
When their housing units are dropping 1/3rd of their value this fast pushing it may be an understatement.
How much rice will it buy?
The url about the Chinese housing market tanking, the author is talking about a possible domestic insurrection in China in the near future.