(LibertySociety.com) – President Joe Biden’s administration is on high alert as a shipment of arms from Iran makes its way toward Venezuela by sea. The incident brings the embattled South American country back into the spotlight and demonstrates Iran’s aggression, despite the new administration’s attempts to enter back into an agreement with the Middle Eastern nation.
Iranian-Venezuelan Arms Deal
In 2020, news broke that Iran and Venezuela were working on an arms deal that included long-range missiles. When President Donald Trump’s administration found out about it, they warned Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro about entering into an agreement that would violate the UN arms embargo on Iran. The administration later issued several sanctions against Iran and Venezuela over the arms deal. At the time, then-US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the sanctions were a “warning that should be heard worldwide.”
Fast forward to 2021, President Joe Biden is in office, and the two countries are at it again. According to a June 9 report by Politico, the president’s administration urged Venezuela and Cuba to turn away an Iranian destroyer and support vessel traveling through the Atlantic on what officials believe is a mission to deliver arms to Caracas.
A senior official told Politico that the delivery of the weapons “would be a provocative act and understood as a threat to [the US’s] partners in the Western Hemisphere.” They vowed America would “take appropriate measures” with its partners to stop the shipment delivery.
US Relations With Venezuela
Diplomatic relations between the US and Venezuela have been strained for decades. Recently, Venezuela’s political upheaval has made the situation worse. In 2018, Maduro sparked outrage when he stole the Venezuelan election from Juan Guaidó.
The Trump administration refused to recognize Maduro as the president of Venezuela, saying he was illegitimate. The former US president said Guaidó was the true leader. Biden has maintained that stance.
Venezuela recently asked for sanction relief, but the Biden administration is now warning that relief will not be forthcoming if the country accepts arms from Iran. However, instead of just taking a hardline approach as Trump did, the Biden official blamed the former president for what’s happening now.
Biden’s State Department claims the entire situation results from the former commander in chief pulling the US out of the Iran nuclear deal, even though there isn’t any proof of that. Meanwhile, Biden is still trying to make a deal with Iran as this all takes place.
Elliott Abrams, a Trump official, slammed Biden’s team for its “petty, political” blame game. He said the new president is “more interested” in trashing Trump than “protecting US national security.” Let’s hope that’s not true.
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