The Washington Post editorial board asks: does the Obama administration know what Venezuela is doing to assist Tehran’s weapons program? The question, surely, is a rhetorical one. It is widely known that Hugo Chavez is a friend of Iran’s nuclear weapons program. For example, he has announced that Venezuela will supply Iran with 20,000 barrels of gasoline a day. Doing so will undercut any U.S. effort to pressure Iran by curtailing its gasoline imports.
Moreover, Manhattan district attorney Robert Morgenthau has been investigating arrangements whereby Iran uses Venezuela’s banking system to evade U.S. and U.N. sanctions. Morgenthau also points to Iranian factories located “in remote and underdeveloped parts of Venezuela” that “could be ideal for the illlicit production of weapons.”
State Department spokesman Ian Kelly was asked this week about Morgenthau’s investigation. According to the Post, Kelly “brushed off” the matter.
So yes, the Obama administration knows what Venezuela is doing to assist Tehran’s weapons program. It just doesn’t care. Nor, as far as I can tell, does it care very much about the Iranian weapons program itself.
SCOTT adds: Michael Ledeen has much more here, Charles Krauthammer here.
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