Sun. May 22nd, 2022


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World holds breath: Iran & Venezuela team up for worrying missile transfer – Biden to act

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Tehran: Fire burns at oil refinery in Iranian capital

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Two Iranian warships are currently traversing the Atlantic ocean to deliver weapons to their South American ally. The news will place Mr Biden in an uncomfortable position as he attends the G7 summit in the UK this weekend. A US intelligence report from last year found Caracas was considering negotiating a new arms deal with Tehran.

The weapons deal could include the transfer of long-range missiles that have the capacity to reach the United States.

The Biden administration has said they could take “appropriate measures” to stop the deadly shipment.

A senior Biden administration this week said: “The sale of the Iranian weapons happened one year ago under the previous US administration.

“Like many situations related to Iran under the previous administration, we are working to resolve it through diplomacy.

“We would reserve the right to take appropriate measures in coordination with our partners to deter the transit or delivery of such weapons.”

Referring to the weapons transfer, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Thursday: “I am absolutely concerned about the proliferation of weapons, any type of weapons, in our neighborhood.”

Photographic evidence shows the cargo on the Iranian vessels may include fast-attack boats, which can be armed with missiles.

Tehran has frequently used these fast-attack ships to threaten global shipping in the Persian Gulf.

Iran and Venezuela seem to be testing Mr Biden’s administration as the transfer is taking place around the same time as the G7 summit.

Eddy Acevedo of the US Woodrow Wilson Center said: “They are testing the new administration to see what it does.

“Iran is looking for leverage for nuclear talks.

“The Venezuelan regime is trying to push the US into providing sanctions relief ahead of talks with the Venezuelan opposition.”

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Nicolas Maduro, the leader of Venezuela, said last year that the purchase of weaponry from Iran was a “good idea”.

However, former US president Donald Trump’s administration warned him to abandon the purchase.

They particularly instructed Caracas to stop the purchase of the Iranian-made long-range missiles.

Referring to Iran’s move to transfer the missiles, Emanuele Ottolenghi senior fellow at the right-wing think tank, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said: “To send their navy suddenly to the southern Atlantic, it’s basically saying to the US ‘you’ve been zipping up and down the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf for the past four decades.

“‘We’re going to do the same to you'”.

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