MANAGUA, Nicaragua, July 13 (UPI) -- A feared expansion of Iran's influence into Latin America may not be as invasive as some in the United States believe, The Washington Post reported Monday.
Despite warnings from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Iran was building a "huge embassy" in Managua, Nicaragua, no evidence of such a building could be found by local reporters scouring the capital, the Post reported Monday.
"There is no huge Iranian Embassy being built as far as we can tell," an unnamed U.S. diplomat in Managua conceded.
Nicaraguan officials also told the newspaper that warnings that Tehran was proposing huge investments in the Central American country -- such as a deep-water port and hydroelectric plants -- have also failed to pan out as analysts say the Islamic republic's oil revenues have flattened.
"It perhaps suggests the Iranians are talking about investments and influence that they don't yet have," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told the newspaper. "But they are certainly feeling their oats, and they are certainly trying to exploit opportunities where they think they exist."
"(Iranians) haven't invested anything. They haven't built anything," Bayardo Arce, a senior economic adviser to Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, told the newspaper.