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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Iranian missiles in South America

Germany's Die Welt had a major story that was overlooked last week:
Iran plans to build a missile base in Venezuela

Iran plans to place medium-range missiles on Venezuelan soil and to deepen the strategic cooperation with the regime of Hugo Chávez. "Welt Online" learned from Western security sources that an agreement between the two countries was signed during the last visit of the Venezuelan president to Tehran on October 19. The previously undisclosed contract provides for the establishment of a jointly operated military base in Venezuela and the joint development of ground-to-ground missiles.

The agreement follows a recommendation of the Supreme Security Council of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and religious leader Ali Khamenei a few months ago. According to information of this newspaper, the 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 establish a strategic base in the South American continent - in the United States' backyard.

"Welt Online" learned that Venezuela has agreed to allow Iran to establish a military base, which would be manned by Iranian missile officers, soldiers of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Venezuelan missile officers. The base is mainly as a storage location for a strategic Iranian weapons reserve. In addition, Iran has given permission for the missiles to be used in case of an emergency. In return, it says in the agreement that Venezuela can use the basis for "national needs". This would increase the threat to neighbors like Colombia. Iran also pledged to help Venezuela in rocket technology expertise, such as intensive training of officers.

Also planned is the joint development of a ground-to-surface missile, based on the extensive experience of the Iranians. The agreement also provides for Iranian Shahab 3 (range 1300-1500 km), Scud-B missile (285-330 kilometers) and Scud-C missiles (300, 500 and 700 km) on the new base to relocate, and four mobile launchers.

(h/t Joel via Israel Army Radio Online)