As Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad prepared for a trip to Latin America, the U.S. warned Latin American countries to refrain from expanding relations with Iran.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters yesterday that Iran is aware of increased international pressure over its nuclear program and is trying to reach out to its allies.
Nuland stressed: “We are making absolutely clear to countries around the world that now is not the time to be deepening ties, not security ties, not economic ties, with Iran.”
She went on to say that while the U.S. has no diplomatic relations with Cuba and Venezuela, it will discuss the issue with Nicaragua and Ecuador.
She emphasized that all countries must make it clear to Iran that if it refuses to respect its international commitments, it will be isolated.
On Sunday, Ahmadinejad will begin a trip to South America.
The trip comes as U.S. and Europe have been taking steps to impose new sanctions on Iran. This follows the release of a report from the International Atomic Energy Agency indicating that Iran may be pursuing military ends in its nuclear program.