US senator brands move ‘dangerous escalation’ amid deepening ties between two nations.
By Independent – Andy Gregory
It would be a “good idea” to look into purchasing missiles from Iran, Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro has said, as the two countries expand trade relations under a joint banner of anti-US sentiment.
Ties between Caracas and Tehran have deepened in recent months as both regimes attempt to undermine aggressive US sanctions programmes.
And in May, Iranian tankers carried 1.53 million barrels of gasoline and alkylate gasoline to Venezuelan shores, in the most significant display yet of open defiance of Washington sanctions, amid a regular flow of supplies, technicians, businesspeople and officials.
Responding to Colombian allegations that his regime was now considering buying missiles from the Middle Eastern nation, Mr Maduro said: “It had not occurred to me, it had not occurred to us.”
Speaking during a televised broadcast with cabinet members on Saturday, he instructed defence minister Vladimir Padrino to follow the idea up, jokingly telling his ministers to keep the plan a secret.