Bolivia is interested in obtaining Iranian drone technology to protect its borders and combat smuggling and drug trafficking, the Andean country’s defense minister confirmed Tuesday, a day after Argentina demanded information on an agreement reached by Iran and Bolivia that has raised security concerns in the region.
Edmundo Novillo dismissed those concerns, saying they were “exaggerated” and came from an Argentine lawmaker “who, I understand, has Israeli origins,” whom he did not name.
The minister spoke to the press a day after Argentina’s foreign ministry sent a note to the Bolivian embassy in Buenos Aires requesting information “about the scope of the discussions and possible agreements reached” during Novillo’s visit to Iran last week. Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani and his counterpart Edmundo Novillo signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in defense and security fields in Tehran.
Considering the needs of Bolivia in the field of border defense and combating drug trafficking, we tried to interact with this country in the field of equipment, Ashtiani stated. He added we believe that this cooperation can be a model for other countries in South America. Novillo said his country is trying to develop its power in the field of science and technology through communication with some institutions to face the problems that are plaguing this country.
He emphasized that this is not a threat and we can not surrender ourselves to actions that can cause attacks or something like that.
” We are pacifists,” he noted.
As a landlocked country, Bolivia is located in the center of South America and shares borders with Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru, and Chile.