Iranian long-range missile shipments to Venezuela’s Maduro regime will be eliminated by the United States if confirmed, said Elliott Abrams, the State Department Special Representative for Iran and Venezuela.
“We will make every effort to stop shipments of long-range missiles, and if somehow they get to Venezuela they will be eliminated there,” said a senior administration official to Fox News.
“Every delivery of Iranian arms destabilizes South America and the Caribbean and is especially dangerous to Venezuela’s neighbors in Brazil, Columbia, and Guyana,” Special Representative Abrams said.
While no evidence of shipments has been announced by administration officials, Iran and Venezuela are likely counterparts for an arms deal due to their already existing relationship and mutual opposition to the U.S.
Iran’s regime has shipped weaponry to Houthi rebels in Yemen and is ready to do the same for Venezuela and possibly other buyers, according to the administration official.
“It’s vital to stop and minimize the Iranian regime’s footprints in South America,” said The Foreign Desk editor-in-chief Lisa Daftari.
“They have been working for years to beef up their presence and fortify relationships on the ground in Venezuela and this should be extremely alarming to the U.S.,” Daftari said.
Despite pressure from the Trump Administration to renew the U.N. arms embargo on Iran, the embargo expired last week.
The embargo prohibited Iran from transferring arms to other countries or receiving weaponry from foreign entities.