“We will make every effort to stop shipments of long-range missiles, and if somehow they get to Venezuela they will be eliminated there,” the official told Fox News.
By World Israel News Staff
The U.S. says it will destroy any Iranian long-range missile shipments sent to Venezuela’s Maduro regime, Fox News reports on Monday, quoting a senior administration official.
“We will make every effort to stop shipments of long-range missiles, and if somehow they get to Venezuela, they will be eliminated there,” the official told Fox News.
“Iran has shipped missiles to the Houthis, so we know they are ready, willing, and able to ship them to Venezuela and other possible buyers,” the official said.
“Every delivery of Iranian arms destabilizes South America and the Caribbean, and is especially dangerous to Venezuela’s neighbors in Brazil, Colombia, and Guyana.”
The official was echoing comments made by Elliott Abrams, the State Department Special Representative for Iran and Venezuela, who said, “The transfer of long-range missiles from Iran to Venezuela is not acceptable to the United States and will not be tolerated or permitted.”
“Iran has announced its intention to engage in arms sales, and Venezuela is an obvious target because those two pariah regimes already have a relationship,” said Abrams.
“Venezuela is paying in gold to buy gasoline from Iran, and there is an Iranian presence in the country. Venezuela’s economy has collapsed, so every bar of gold for Iran is tens of thousands of dollars the Venezuelan people need for food and medicine,” Abrams added.
Last week, a UN embargo on Iran dealing in conventional weapons ended despite the Trump administration’s efforts to extend it.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry released a statement last Sunday celebrating the end of the UN embargo on arms sales, one of the conditions set forth in the 2015 nuclear deal signed by then-U.S. president Barack Obama.
“As of today, all restrictions on the transfer of arms, related activities and financial services to and from the Islamic Republic of Iran … are all automatically terminated,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry wrote on Twitter.
“Today’s normalization of Iran’s defense cooperation with the world is a win for the cause of multilateralism and peace and security in our region,” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif declared via his Twitter account.