Iran is recruiting an “invisible army” of revolutionary sympathizers in Latin America to infiltrate the U.S. through the “soft belly” of the southern border, U.S. officials and national security experts told TheBlaze. And they’re using one website in particular to do it.
The Iranian regime’s conversion efforts are becoming increasingly aggressive, especially over the Internet, with the goal of conducting operations against United States interests in the Western Hemisphere, according to U.S. government officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the nature of their work in the region.
Islamoriente.com, which focuses on religion and politics, is one of Iran’s main recruitment and conversion websites for Latin America on the Internet, TheBlaze has learned. The site, which launched in 2008, includes links to Iranian television for Spanish speakers, anti-American news stories, essays on reasons to convert to Islam, chat rooms and a personal message from the Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran.
Even as President Barack Obama waits for Congress to make a decision on Syria, the Iranian website wastes no time and has no shortage of stories ridiculing the U.S. administration for threatening to strike President Bashar Assad’s regime, a staunch ally of Iran.
Jim Phillips, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation and expert in Iranian affairs, said Iran’s focus on Hispanic converts is a new evolution in Iranian operations in Latin America. Phillips said Khamanei’s message titled “The Importance of Work and the Nobility of the Worker” in Islam, is significant because the Ayatollah is “normally a background player in these sorts of efforts and doesn’t usually play such a public role.”