This is a source for analysis, interviews, and commentary on security in Latin America. Herein you will find rumors, the results of off the record interviews, and information you'll not find in international or United States news media.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Iran and Venezuela: The 2009 Dosado

This Southern Pulse Intel Brief, dated 24 September 2009, is republished here with permission from the Southern Pulse editors.


In a recent interview with conservative French newspaper Le Fiargo, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez thanked Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the technology transfer required to develop a nuclear energy program in Venezuela. The agreement, Chavez claims, was signed in early September, and serves as a capstone for the tightening of relations between the two countries over the course of 2009.

While visiting Ahmadinejad on his eighth trip to Iran during the week of 5 September, Chavez reportedly followed up on 186 separate agreements formed between the two countries since 2005. A 10-year strategic alliance was proposed, as well as joint plans for the construction of a oil refinery in Syria with an expected capacity of processing 150,000 barrels of oil a day.

Venezuela has also agreed to sell Iran 20,000 barrels of gasoline a day beginning in October 2009, but Chavez declined to disclose the duration of the US$800 million agreement. To further support Iran’s energy needs, PDVSA has also agreed to establish operations at Iran’s South Pars 12 gas field, with estimated reserves of some 12.6 billion cubic meters of natural gas
Iran has reciprocated with the announcement that its government will validate educational qualifications and academic titles awarded in 47 Venezuelan universities.

The September meeting comes only five months after Chavez’s last visit to Tehran in the first week of April, when he travelled with a selected group of Venezuelan businessmen. They were on hand to witness the inauguration of a joint Venezuelan-Iranian development bank, reportedly capitalized with US$200 million, with half to be provided by each government. Iranian Kourahs Parvizian will become the president of the bank, while Venezuelan Nelson Ortega will become the vice president.

While in Tehran, Chavez also called into a Venezuela Television show, Contragolpe, to describe plans for a joint Venezuelan-Iranian mining company to formalize five years of mining operations shared with Iran in Venezuela. Chavez noted that the new mining company would focus on six minerals and some precious stones, including diamonds.

Later in April, the Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Majjar landed in Caracas for a short trip to sign a series of “unspecified agreements.” Presumably, these agreements facilitated the 29 April signature of a memorandum of understanding between the Venezuelan and Iranian armed forces.

Within the remaining months of 2009, Venezuela and Iran are likely to expand on their peaceful nuclear initiative, one that France has already flagged as a violation of UN Security Council resolution 1737.


Christine said...

Where did this relationship come from? It seems interesting that Iran must get its technology transfer from other more developed countries yet it is offering what it knows to Venezuela. Why would Venezuela want to get involved with such a troubled country in order to develop a new technology of an energy source. Iran appears to be a major middle man and it is as if Chavez is intending to anger the UN and any other more powerful and wealthy countries that may have helped Venezuela to develop new technology transfer.

robert said...

One thing you have to keep in mind when Chavez speaks. Half of the announcements are pure, unadulterated BS for consumption by the home crowd.

It is what he DOESN'T talk about that should worry you.

Why does he want to get involved with Iran? Because the US is at odds with Iran, and he considers it sexy.

BUT, so far it's mostly commissions raked in by him and his cronies in helping Iran get around sanctions and purchases of restricted materials.

It bears watching, for sure, but with a jaundiced eye, as it were......

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