Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Iran-Africa Relations

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is currently visiting Niger, Benin and Ghana.  The Washington-based American Enterprise Institute (AEI) for Public Policy Research issued a timely paper in April titled "Africa: Iran's Final Frontier?" by Michael Rubin, a resident scholar at AEI.

The key points are:
  • Iran is forging ties with African nations to leverage aid and soft power in exchange for diplomatic favors and to use Africa as cover for military or nuclear objectives.
  • Iran's Africa strategy involves courting African countries voting in important international bodies, prioritizing outreach to African countries that mine uranium, and cementing partnerships that could give Iran access to strategic naval bases.
  • The Islamic Republic's diplomatic outreach to African nations will increasingly challenge US aims across Africa and its surrounding waters.

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