Venezuela-Iran Alliance a Clear & Present Danger

By New York Daily News, New York Daily News - September 9, 2009

It grows ever clearer, in words and deeds, that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad intends to build Iran into a nuclear power, President Obama's threats of sanctions be damned.

And as screamingly apparent is Ahmadinejad's intention to defy the world in an unholy and threatening alliance with Venezuelan thug-in-chief Hugo Chavez, who just agreed to provide Iran with what it needs to thumb its nose at the world: gasoline.

Awash in oil, Iran has limited refining capacities. It imports most of its fuel for motor vehicles. Choking off the supply has been at the top of the list for making the Ahmadinejad regime suffer for its atomic ambitions.

But that plan took a big hit Sunday when Chavez, on his eighth visit to Iran, announced that Venezuela will ship Ahmadinejad 20,000 barrels of gasoline a day. Sanctions? Why should Iran care about sanctions?

Chavez's move was a logical step in a partnership he and Ahmadinejad forged to amass power in their own spheres. Their political and economic ties and mutual assistance in fomenting terror have hit astonishing heights.

Privy to the details by virtue of investigating Iranian financial manipulations, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau yesterday warned that the two countries are bringing the globe to the brink of crisis.

By his recounting, in an address at the Brookings Institution, the alliance began in 2006, when Venezuela joined Cuba and Syria to oppose a U.S. resolution on nuclear sanctions.

Since then, the two countries have signed agreements including a military support pledge. Iranian advisers are training Venezuelan forces in the types of so-called asymmetrical warfare employed by terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.

At the same time, Iran has opened banking arms in Venezuela with the certain purpose of evading embargoes on transactions that funnel money into Iran's nuclear program. Morgenthau caught the Iranians in those types of schemes based elsewhere.

Warned Morgenthau: "The Iranians, calculating and clever in their diplomatic relations, have found the perfect ally in Venezuela. Venezuela has an established financial system that, with Chavez's help, can be exploited to avoid economic sanctions.

"As well, its geographic location is ideal for building and storing weapons of mass destruction far away from Middle Eastern states threatened by Iran's ambition and from the eyes of the international community."

Ominously, mysterious Iranian-controlled factories have opened in remote parts of Venezuela. Ominously, Venezuela has 50,000 tons of uranium waiting to be mined. Ominously, Chavez has ties to both the FARC narcoterrorists in Colombia and Hezbollah supporters. Ominously, Chavez said he aims to build a "nuclear village" in Venezuela with Iran's help.

Morgenthau is right: It's past time to put Venezuela's banking system under a microscope.

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