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Is Iran about to consolidate power in America’s backyard?
 
10/20/2020
 

Iran Establishing a Base of Operations in Venezuela

Is Iran about to consolidate power in America’s backyard?

BY BRENT NAGTEGAAL

This week, five tankers full of Iranian gasoline arrived in Venezuela to aid the struggling regime of President Nicolás Maduro. At an estimated worth of $45 million, the imports will provide about a month’s supply of gasoline under strict rationing. The street value of the gasoline will rise to about $450 million as Maduro’s henchmen securing the pumping stations will increase the prices at will.

The arrival of the shipments from Iran breaks two sets of United States sanctions. The Trump administration forbids any company from purchasing Iranian oil products, and it also bars any company from selling oil products to Venezuela. In this case, with two nations under sanctions trading with each other, there is next to nothing America can do to stop the shipments—outside a naval blockade.

Though Venezuela sits on the largest oil reserves on the planet, years of Communist rule and mismanagement have severely impacted its capacity to refine that oil into usable forms such as petrol or gasoline. The petrol shipments are an attempt to temporarily tide the regime over until Venezuelan refineries are fixed. Here too, Iran is helping.

 
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