Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Iranian-Venezuelan Bond Poses Threat: U.S. General
Iran's growing relationship with Venezuela is a cause for concern, U.S. Southern Command head Gen. Douglas Fraser said on Tuesday (see GSN, April 6).
"My concern, as I look at it, is the fact that there are flights between Iran and Venezuela on a weekly basis, and visas are not required for entrance into Venezuela or Bolivia or Nicaragua," Fraser said during a hearing on Capitol Hill. "So we don't have a lot of visibility in who's visiting and who isn't, and that's really where I see the concerns."
The United States in March warned it would retaliate against potential breaches by Venezuela of U.N. penalties against Iran. Government sources said no proof pointed to such breaches, though Washington was assessing whether Caracas had contravened the sanctions by collaborating with Tehran on electricity initiatives.
The U.N. Security Council has adopted four sanctions resolutions aimed at pressuring the Middle Eastern nation to halt atomic activities that could support weapons development. Iran has insisted its nuclear program is strictly nonmilitary in nature.
Some observers have also expressed concerns about Venezuela's nascent atomic energy plans, which have reportedly been largely shuttered in the wake of the continuing nuclear crisis in Japan (see GSN, March 16).
"Growing opportunities" exist "for military-to-military connections" between Iran and Venezuela, though such ties have yet to clearly emerge, Fraser said (Agence France-Presse/Google News, April 5).
"Iran continues expanding regional ties [throughout Latin America] to support its own diplomatic goal of reducing the impact of international sanctions connected with its nuclear program," the Associated Press quoted the general as saying in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee (Donna Cassata, Associated Press/Google News, April 5).
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March 13, 2014
On Friday, March 14, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meet to discuss the crisis in Ukraine. Five statesmen from Germany, Poland, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States call for the urgent formation of a Contact Group of Foreign Ministers to address the crisis and more broadly, create a new approach to building mutual security in the Euro-Atlantic region.
This article provides an overview of Venezuela’s historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.