Yesterday, the newspaper Clarin published an article stating that any possible sales prospect of the IA-63 Pampa advanced jet trainers is under pressure by Israel and the U.S. considering Bolivia’s direct links with Iran.The fact is that Bolivia and Iran have just signed an agreement to provide “nanotechnology” for a military academy and Drones for counter-drug and smuggling operations.
Although the actual drone which is to be purchased has not yet been disclosed, this is causing serious concerns on Bolivia’s neighbors and sets as the first Iranian drone export in Latin America. Israel and the U.S. are very annoyed by the fact considering their high-level lobbying and Mike Pompeo’s presence in the region to bolster anti-terrorist cooperation and the recognition of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization by Latin-American nations.
Argentina and Bolivia have a very important gas trade and to this fact, Gustavo Lopetegui, the argentine Secretary for Energy, proposed that on any compensation required from the argentine state to the bolivian state, it could be paid by the export of IA-63 Pampa advanced jet trainers. This has been seen at first as an opportunity to provide new customers for the Fabrica Argentina de Aviones (FAdeA), but such a salesmanship collided with the fact that it was not thorough in considering that the IA-63 Pampa has components made in Israel, U.K and U.S. which are subject to export approvals.
Bolivia and Israel currently do not hold and diplomatic relations and such a development in the bilateral relations with Iran will have an equal negative effect on any proposed sale of the IA-63 since Israel provides the actual landing gear and avionics for the cockpit. Although Israel has not yet expressed itself on record, off the record, argentine diplomats have received the thumbs down on this proposed sale.
And last, but not least, Argentina’s recent declaration of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and the fact of the pending investigation and resolution of 1992 and 1994 bombings in Buenos Aires, linked to Iran or any of its proxys, is headed in the opposite direction to what Bolivia is doing with Iran. Still, another blow for the Fabrica Argentina de Aviones considering recent mishaps with a prospect export to Guatemala.