Iran and Venezuela: The Axis of Annoyance   [open pdf - 608KB]

"In September 2007, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made a highly contentious visit to New York. In addition to addressing the General Assembly of the United Nations, Ahmadinejad's agenda included Columbia University, where his invitation to give a speech caused a public uproar days just prior to his arrival. Bowing to public pressure, the university's president, Lee Bollinger, made sure that Ahmadinejad's reception at Columbia was a chilly one. […]. On his way home, Ahmadinejad made a stopover in Latin America. His first destination was Caracas, where his friend Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez greeted him like a long-lost brother. Chavez told Ahmadinejad that he had handled the personal criticism heaped upon him at Columbia University 'with the greatness of a revolutionary.' Such is the nature of the relationship between Venezuela and Iran. The two countries' self-styled 'axis of unity' is more bombastic than substantive. However, the substance is enough to cause concern. Chavez and Ahmadinejad have clearly formed an alliance of convenience based on formulaic anti-Americanism. Their nations are so incompatible that most of their partnering efforts have resulted in unfulfilled promises and empty rhetoric. Unfortunately, their fiery verbal assaults against the 'imperialism' of the United States cannot be dismissed so easily. Booming oil prices have left the two leaders quite capable of backing up their hostile words with actions. That is why Cynthia Arnson, of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, has wondered whether the relationship poses a threat to the United States or is merely an 'Axis of Annoyance.'"

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Military Review: https://usacac.army.mil/CAC2/MilitaryReview/
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Military Review (May-June 2009), p.78-84
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