on Wednesday 9 June, 2021

U.S. warns Venezuela, Cuba to turn away Iranian ships believed to be carrying arms

In this Wednesday, April 15, 2020, photo made available by U.S. Navy, Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels sail close to U.S. military ships in the Persian Gulf near Kuwait. | U.S. Navy via AP
by : Politico - NAHAL TOOSI

“If Iran helps Venezuela develop tactics similar to those practiced by the [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] in the Persian Gulf region, that could have in my view serious repercussions in the future,” he said.

Iranian fast attack boats recently swarmed U.S. Coast Guard cutters in the Persian Gulf, POLITICO reported. And in 2016, IRGC fast boats seized a U.S. Navy boat in the Gulf, creating an embarrassment for the American military.

Kirsten Fontenrose, an Atlantic Council fellow and former National Security Council official during the Trump administration who focused on the Middle East, said the expiration of the UN arms embargo on Iran means this move could be followed by more exports of military equipment.

“The threat is the precedent it sets, because the UN arms embargo is no longer on Iran and they’re free to import and export,” she said. “This could be the first of many transfers we see. It allows Iran to proliferate their model of what I call zero to hero, where they arm failing governments or proxy groups and make them larger than they’re capable of being on their own, and they create these affiliates around the world that are able to threaten American interests.”

Fontenrose added that America’s transatlantic allies are unlikely to become particularly involved in U.S. efforts to manage the growing challenge.

“We’ll have to deal with this on our own,” she said.