As Bolivia Obtains Iranian Drones, South American News Outlets Affiliated With Iran And Hizbullah Focus On Bolivian Lithium Reserves – A Key Resource For Iran's Nuclear Program

August 3, 2023

On July 21, 2023, the Lebanese propaganda platform for Iran and Hizbullah, Al-Mayadeen, posted to its Telegram channel an article saying Bolivia has the largest lithium reserve on the planet. The article claimed that "together with Argentina and Chile, Bolivia is home to 85 percent of the world's lithium reserves," stressing that the metal is essential in the development of batteries for mobile phones and other portable devices, as well as electric vehicles. Lithium also happens to be a key strategic metal with applications for nuclear weapons development,[1] a fact carefully not mentioned by the Lebanese news outlet. The article instead focused on lithium's uses in the transition to a global 'green economy.'"[2]

The article was published a day after Bolivia signed an agreement with Iran to obtain Iranian drones, hinting that in exchange Bolivia may have offered Iran access to its lithium. Similar articles were published by Iran-backed outlets HispanTV and Al-Manar in the weeks prior to the agreement.

Bolivia made Iran a "partner" in the mining and exploitation of its lithium in 2010, after a series of cooperation agreements were reached between Tehran and La Paz.[3] Ever since, Bolivia's "white gold" has featured prominently in Iranian-affiliated media outlets' news about the South American country.

To read the full Special Dispatch on MEMRI, click here.

 

[1] Govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-112shrg73922/html/CHRG-112shrg73922.htm, Feb 16, 2012.

[2] Tme/almayadeenespanol/57487, July 21, 2023.

[3] En.mercopress.com/2010/10/30/iran-partner-in-the-industrialization-of-bolivia-s-lithium-reserves, October 30, 2010.

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