A new poll shows that the majority of the people in the Latin American countries believe Iran poses no threat to the Middle East region.

A total of 1700 adults in six countries, including Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Peru participated in the poll, which was conducted by the Russian news agency RIA Novosti through face - to - face interviews from March 2 to March 5,2013. The news agency released the results of the poll on April 12,2013. The respondents were asked whether Iran poses any threat to the stability of the Middle East. The results showed that a staggering 89 percent of the respondents considered Iran as no threat to the region. A mere eight percent believed otherwise, while three percent answered, “I don’t know. ” The Islamic Republic has been seeking to expand relations with Latin American countries over the past years, describing the endeavor as one of its major foreign policy strategies. Iran’s growing popularity in Latin America has raised major concerns in the US, which regards the region as its strategic backyard and traditional sphere of influence. In December 2012, the US President Barack Obama enacted a law “aimed at countering Tehran ' s alleged influence in Latin America. ” Dubbed as ‘Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act of 2012, ’ the act calls for the US State Department to develop a plan within 180 days to " address Iran ' s growing hostile presence and activity " in Latin America.