Iranian Missiles in Venezuela?
I have been posting about the close ties between Iran and Venezuela for years now, and last month Welt Online published this report,
Iran plant Bau einer Raketenstellung in Venezuela" ("Caracas-Tehran Axis: Iran plans to build a missile base in Venezuela." You can read the Google translation here).
The article refers to an agreement signed on October 19 this year:
According to information received by Welt on Line, Iran's Supreme Security Council had proposed a joint military facility on Venezuelan soil to increase the deterrent power of Iran against the West. The cooperation would be a way for Iran to build a strategic base in South American - in the backyard of the United States.
Barack Obama, coincidentally, has already stated that a nuclear-powered Venezuela is fine by him.
Anna Mahjar-Barducci at Hudson New York has more on the Iran-Venezuela missile agreement,
At a moment when NATO members found an agreement, in the recent Lisbon summit (19-20 November 2010), to develop a Missile Defence capability to protect NATO's populations and territories in Europe against ballistic missile attacks from the East (namely, Iran), Iran's counter-move consists in establishing a strategic base in the South American continent - in the United States's soft underbelly.
According to Die Welt, Venezuela has agreed to allow Iran to establish a military base manned by Iranian missile officers, soldiers of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Venezuelan missile officers. In addition, Iran has given permission for the missiles to be used in case of an "emergency". In return, the agreement states that Venezuela can use these facilities for "national needs" – radically increasing the threat to neighbors like Colombia. The German daily claims that according to the agreement, Iranian Shahab 3 (range 1300-1500 km), Scud-B (285-330 km) and Scud-C (300, 500 and 700 km) will be deployed in the proposed base. It says that Iran also pledged to help Venezuela in rocket technology expertise, including intensive training of officers.
Of course, considering the flights between Iran and Venezuela, Iranian personnel may be manning the technology in Venezuela.