Colombian President Iván Duque took more than a day to clarify the qualifier used by Diego Molano against the Islamic Republic.
The Colombian Defense Minister, Diego Molano, has unleashed a new controversy after describing Iran as a “common enemy” in a controversial statement that he offered from Israel and that put the international relations of the government of Iván Duque in trouble.
Molano’s statements took place during Duque’s official visit to Jerusalem, in which the president agreed with his Israeli counterpart, Isaac Herzog, expand agreements on military matters, cyber defense, border and aerospace security, as well as the exchange of strategic intelligence information in “the fight against international terrorism,” with special emphasis on the “border with Venezuela.”
In a joint statement between Duque and Herzog, both agreed on the duty of “fight” against “terrorism” which, according to them, are generated by Hezbollah cells, as well as in collaborating in the work on an international scale to stop the Iranian nuclear development plan.
On this, Herzog said that he hopes Colombia can “help fight diplomatically” against Tehran from the presidency of the Council of the International Atomic Energy Agency, while affirming that Tel Aviv knows that Bogotá is concerned about “the Hezbollah terrorist cells on the border with Venezuela.”
Molano’s controversial statements occurred once the new agreements between Duque and Herzog were signed. “Here we have a common enemy and this is the case of Iran and Hezbollah, which operates against Israel. but it also supports the Venezuelan regime, and therefore it is an important effort and an exchange of information and intelligence that we develop with the military forces and the Ministry of Defense in Israel, “the Colombian minister declared.
The senator and candidate for the Presidency of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, was one of the first to react to Molano’s statement, noting that his words exposed Colombians to a possible war scenario.
“Minister Diego Molano, can Colombia consider a country with which it maintains diplomatic relations an enemy? Can a minister put us in warlike circumstances with a country that has never hurt us?“Petro wrote on Twitter.
Minister @Diego_Molano, can Colombia consider a country with which it maintains diplomatic relations an enemy? Can a minister put us in warlike circumstances with a country that has never hurt us?
– Gustavo Petro (@petrogustavo) November 8, 2021
Similarly, Senator Luis Fernando Velasco said that it is “unforgivable” to declare Iran as an enemy and reminded Molano that as Minister of Defense he has no power to set positions of this type, which should only be dictated by the Presidency and the Chancellery.
“It is unforgivable for you to declare Iran an enemy of ColombiaI remind you that we have diplomatic relations with that country and you do not have the power to classify another State as an enemy of ours. Rectify your mistake, “Velasco wrote.
The recklessness of the Minister @Diego_Molano with the Iran issue is NOT trivial. Buying unnecessary fights in a region as troubled as the Middle East does not fit in any sensible mind. Minister: please rectify. https://t.co/dwXUOvvs8z
– José Daniel López (@lopezjosedaniel) November 8, 2021
Congressman José Daniel López also rejected Molano’s “recklessness” and asked him to rectify why one should not “buy unnecessary fights” with the Middle East. “The recklessness of Minister Diego Molano with the Iran issue is not trivial. Buying unnecessary fights in a region as troubled as the Middle East does not fit any sensible mind. Minister: rectify, please, “he wrote.
For his part, presidential candidate Roy Barreras warned that “for the first time in the history” of Colombia, a defense minister declared “irresponsibly” and “on his own” Iran as an “enemy country.” “Whats Next? Declare war on him? There are many countries with undesirable regimes and interests different from ours, but they don’t go around declaring them ‘enemies’, “he questioned.
International relations serve to establish dialogues and build communication channels with other states and not to declare enmities, or does Iran have no embassy in our country? Urgent a basic diplomacy course for the Government.https: //t.co/Ax1HNVCbRR
– COMMON 🌹 (@ComunesCoL) November 8, 2021
In addition, the Comunes party urged the minister to carry out “urgently (…) a basic diplomacy course for the Government” so as not to put the country at risk. “International relations serve to establish dialogues and to build communication channels with other States and not to declare enmity. Or does Iran not have an embassy in our country? “.
President Duque took more than a day to clarify the qualifier “enemy” wielded in the controversial statements of Molano, who did not address the issue again, as did the Colombian vice president and foreign minister, Marta Lucía Ramírez, who is on a tour of Japan.
At first, Duque did not reject the statement in its entirety, stating that Molano’s words were intended to question Iran’s political support for Hezbollah.
“Colombia has maintained diplomatic relations with Iran, but Colombia is very clear about what the terrorist threats are, and that is why in the same diplomatic dialogue we have the ability to ask many countries what type of relationship they may have with those units. “Duque said a couple of hours after Molano’s intervention, according to local media.
However, this Tuesday, the president clarified – albeit with his warnings – that Colombia “does not use the word enemies to refer to any country”, because “it is a nation that respects international law.”
“Colombia has diplomatic relations with Iran, but that does not mean that we do not have differences on specific issues, “said Duque, who explained that among these discrepancies are” no development of nuclear weapons, no enrichment of uranium, or proliferation of nuclear arsenals. “
From the Iranian side, for the moment, there have been no reactions on the questioned statements of the Colombian Defense Minister, who last week he starred in another controversy related to the case of an alleged cyberattack that the Colombian Executive received during the massive protests against the Duque government at the beginning of the year.
According to the Foundation for Press Freedom, Molano’s office – which denied the version – would have feigned and disclosed the alleged cyber attack as false news with the aim of improving the image of the Government and justifying its cyber patrol policy, just when the forces Police and the Army were denounced for committing abuses and violations against the human rights of the protesters.