Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran has apparently made a deal with Hugo Chavez of Venezuela to place medium range ground-to-ground missiles on Venezuelan soil and to establish a joint military base of operations manned by Iranian missile officers, Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and Venezuelan missile officers.
According to a report from Die Welt, the agreement includes Shahab 3 missiles (1,500 km typical range or up to 2,000 km modified range), Scud-C missiles (700 km range), Scud-B missiles (300 km range), and mobile launchers.
Additionally, Iran will very shortly begin training Venezuelan missile officers at Tehran’s Sharif University.
Word has it that the Chavez regime has been working on their own nuclear program during the past several years while Hugo Chavez has been a long time supporter of Ahmadinejad and Iran’s nuclear development program.
The new missile base in Venezuela may pose a southern threat to the US as the current most modified Shahab 3, a liquid fueled medium range ballistic missile, is apparently capable of a 2,000 km range, potentially reaching Miami and southern Florida.
The threat always exists however of a mobile launched missile from a freighter vessel, which could potentially come from anywhere.
The Iranian – Venezuelan alliance will certainly change the nature of power in the region, particularly with neighboring Colombia .
The map illustrates the potential maximum range of the Shahab-3 missile named in the agreement, if based in Venezuela. It is questionable whether the missile would truly present a threat to the US mainland.
Having said that, and given the new agreement, relationship, and Venezuelan base of operations with Chavez and Ahmadinejad, there are missiles capable of easily reaching the US mainland, and may only be a matter of money and time. The Shahab 4, 5, and 6 are currently under development in Iran and will have a range from 2,000 to 6,000+ km.
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