Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Gates says Iran bigger worry than Russia in Latin America

WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he is troubled by Iranian activities in Latin America that he sees as meddling. But he told a Senate panel Tuesday that Russian military outreach there doesn't bother him at all.
Iran has used the United States as a foil as it tries to establish ties with left-leaning Latin American leaders.
Gates didn't say just what he thinks Iran is up to militarily. But he called Iran a threat there that Russia, despite high-profile maneuvers, is not.
Gates shrugged off Russian naval tours in places like Venezuela. He said that if Russia hadn't raised alarms by invading Georgia last year, he would have invited Russian ships to dock in Miami as well.
He said the Russian sailors would have had more fun there than in Caracas.
Ap Associated Press