By: Maria Perez
In this interdependent global society we live in, it is only common that countries from all over the world join forces for strategic purposes. In the case of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Islamic Republic of Iran, they have created an alliance that goes beyond the distance between each other.Considering that these countries are thousands of miles apart, there are many differences between these two nations such as their unparallel political system, and religious beliefs. Yet, they have created what they call the “Axis of Unity” that mainly focuses on one goal: the elimination of the United States’ power around the world.
Neither the Islamic Republic of Iran nor the Bolivarian Republic ofVenezuela has the resources to overthrow the United States from its present uni-polar importance in the world. Nevertheless, they have started to preach their anti-American creed among the countries, where both presidents, Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have considerable popularity. Chavez, leading the Bolivarian Revolution and Ahmadinejad, representing the Islamic one, have gathered the support ofmany countries like: Argentina, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Libya, Syria, China and Russia. This is staring to be seen as a significant concern to many, but it is still not a paramount issue to be solved in the White House’s agenda.
The purpose of this research is to analyze the evidential threat that this alliance entails, as well as the presumed speculations that most people believe to be true aboutAhmadinejad and Chavez’s strategic union. In addition, the theoretical bases of authors like Douglas Schoen and Michael Rowan, writers of Threat Closer to Home: Hugo Chavez and the War against America and Ray Takeyh, author of Guardians of the Revolution will help shape the investigation to determine the reasons behind this historical partnership.
History is necessary
In order to understandChavez and Ahmadinejad’s leadership, history is necessary. Chronologically, The Islamic Revolution came in Iran before the Bolivarian Revolution did in Venezuela. It began in 1979 by Ayatollah Khomeini, and its purpose was to “reject the Middle Eastern dependence on Western and other alien models of development in the country”(Cleveland, 441) as well as to condemn the shah’s leadership that had“reduce[d] the role of Islam in daily life” (424). It was a bloody revolution that achieved its goal of reviving Islam throughout the nation.
As a result of the revolution, Iranian’s rejection towards the United States was evident. According to Ray Takeyh, Khomeini cemented this “anti-American ideology as a pillar of the Islamic Republic” (59). Also, it is important to recall that this new republic wasraised with the belief that men of religion, “because of their knowledge of Islamic law, should manage the affairs of the state” (Cleveland, 427). Therefore, the administrative and legislative body of the government was, and still is, led by ulamas under the name of Council of Guardians, who act under the supervision of the Supreme Leader. The Supreme Leader has more power than the executivepresident of the republic.
Iran has only had two Supreme Leaders since 1979: Khomeini, the father of the Islamic Revolution, and Khamenei who is the current Supreme Leader. In 2005, under the leadership of Khamenei, Ahmadinejad was the first non-cleric elected president in Iran’s new republic (539). According to the Council of Foreign Affairs, he was elected “on a platform of combating corruption;improving the economy; dealing with issues of social justice and unemployment, especially for the young; and creating greater opportunities for people”.
Chavez was elected under the same circumstances. According to Schoen, during the elections of 1998, “Chavez promised to eliminate poverty, inequality, and corruption in Venezuela” (147). But ever since 1992, his presence had been influential...