The world’s focus is on the ongoing nuclear talks between Iran and the P5 + 1 partnership. In the meantime, reports are beginning to surface detailing the nuclear agreement between Iran and various rogue states – primarily North Korea and Syria.
North Korea and Iran have had a long history of nuclear proliferation together since the early 1990s. In 2002, it was reported that a shipment of weapon grade uranium cracked and contaminated Tehran’s newly constructed airport, causing complete closure for weeks.
For years Iran and North Korea were working together to complete a secret nuclear facility in Deir al-Zour, Syria. Prior to completion, Israeli jets destroyed the facility in 2006.
Then in 2012, North Korea and Iran signed a technical cooperation pact. Shortly thereafter, it was reported that Iranian military personnel were moved to a remote military base in the North Korean mountains.
Iran has clearly developed a habit of exporting their nuclear technology. While these revelations focus heavily on Syria and North Korea, our southern neighbors continue to be ignored by Washington.
The Iran theocracy has heavily invested in creating nuclear relationships with many of the government in Latin America. The most noteworthy examples are that of Venezuela and Argentina.
When Hugo Chavez took power of Venezuela in 1999, Iran saw a strategic partner to fight against their common enemy: the United States. Since then, the Chavista regime has continually strengthened their relationship with Iran.
It has been reported that since 2007, a state owned airline made repeated flights to Tehran from Caracas. While estimates claim it ran until 2010, there is absolutely no way of knowing whether or not the program has ended. Due to the airlines success, it seems highly unlikely that either Tehran or Caracas would abandon such a profitable enterprise.
This airline, nicknamed Aeroterror, would fly drugs from Venezuela to Tehran with a brief stop in Damascus. The return flights often included large sums of cash, weapons, Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guard operatives, and various other unknown cargos.
In 2007, Chavez played a critical role in establishing ties between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Argentina’s eventual president Cristina Kirchner. It has been reported that Ahmadinejad pleaded with Chavez to secure nuclear technology from Argentina. Tehran even directly contributed vast amounts of cash to Kirchner’s presidential campaign.
With no hard proof that any technology was shared, one can only deduce it was. The fact is that the Iranian and Argentine heavy water reactors share numerous structural similarities. The possibility that that Venezuela could have used this airline to smuggle nuclear technology supplied from Argentina to Tehran should not be ruled out.
With suspicion that Tehran has moved their nuclear program out of the country to meet the criteria of a nuclear deal with the United States, one could argue that Venezuela would be an ideal location to do so. Anti-American, corrupt, and lacking American intelligence assets, Venezuela has become prime location for Tehran’s strategic plans.
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