According to German magazine Die Welt, Iran will be placing medium-range Shahab-3 missiles in a military base in Venezuela, which puts them within striking distance of the U.S. mainland (mostly Florida – sorry MadBrad). During the October 19 visit of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez to Tehran, a deal was signed that allows for a jointly run military base to be established in the South American country and the joint development of strategic ground-to-ground missiles. Of course, Iran is also developing an atomic bomb, too.
According to Die Welt, Venezuela has agreed to allow Iran to establish a military base manned by Iranian missile officers, soldiers of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Venezuelan missile officers. In addition, Iran has given permission for the missiles to be used in case of an “emergency”. In return, the agreement states that Venezuela can use these facilities for “national needs” – radically increasing the threat to neighbors like Colombia. The German daily claims that according to the agreement, Iranian Shahab 3 (range 1300-1500 km), Scud-B (285-330 km) and Scud-C (300, 500 and 700 km) will be deployed in the proposed base. It says that Iran also pledged to help Venezuela in rocket technology expertise, including intensive training of officers
In addition to threatening the U.S., it also puts Venezuela in a position where it can threaten all of its South American neighbors, especially Columbia. Chavez has provided support to the faltering FARC narcoterrorists in Columbia and relations between the two countries are poor at best.
In addition to the joint military base, Venezuela is also likely going to be the route by which Iran acquires advanced surface-to-air defense systems. Previously, Russia was going to sell 5 battalions of S-300PMU-1 air defense systems to Iran. That deal was scrubbed because of sanctions and instead Russia offered the system to Venezuela. How much does anyone want to bet that at least some of those S-300PMU-1 systems magically wind up in Iran anyway?