January 2, 2012
The visit reinforces recent commitments by Iran to invest millions of dollars in economic development projects for the region, from a mining joint venture in Ecuador to factories for petrochemicals and small-arms ammunition in Venezuela.
Iran has also dramatically expanded its diplomatic missions throughout the hemisphere and dispatched members of its elite Quds Force — the military unit U.S. officials in October linked to a foiled assassination plot in Washington — to serve in its embassies, U.S. officials and Iran experts say.
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