Members of 2015 Iran nuclear deal attending a meeting at the Grand Hotel of Vienna as they try to restore the pact, April 17, 2021

Israel accuses Iran of providing Venezuela with munitions for drones

As specter of nuclear deal looms, Israel points to intelligence leads exposing Tehran providing Venezuela with tools meant to raise alarm among American officials

Reuters |
Published: 02.22.22, 23:14
Israel accused Iran of planning to arm Venezuelan drones with precision-guided munitions on Tuesday.
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  • These munitions appear to be aimed at raising American alarm, as world powers try to conclude a new nuclear deal with Iran.
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    Members of 2015 Iran nuclear deal attending a meeting at the Grand Hotel of Vienna as they try to restore the pact, April 17, 2021
    Members of 2015 Iran nuclear deal attending a meeting at the Grand Hotel of Vienna as they try to restore the pact, April 17, 2021
    Members of 2015 Iran nuclear deal attending a meeting at the Grand Hotel of Vienna as they try to restore the pact, April 17, 2021
    (Photo: AFP)
    Venezuela said in 2012 that Iran was helping it build drones for self-defense. The two countries, both OPEC members and long at loggerheads with Washington, also cooperate on oil exports.
    While briefing U.S. Jewish leaders in Jerusalem, Defense Minister Benny Gantz showed photographs of what he described as an Iranian Mohajer UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) in Venezuela.
    "Our assessments show that Iranian PGMs (precision-guided munitions) are being delivered for these UAVs and other similar models," Gantz said.
    "I can tell you that in my meetings with partners from around the world, including African and Latin American partners, I heard extreme concern about Iranian support for terrorism."
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    גנץ בועידת השלום במינכן
    גנץ בועידת השלום במינכן
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz
    (Photo: Munich Security Conference)
    Iran denies supplying military drones to any of its allies and has denied seeking nuclear arms or supporting terrorism. Venezuela's information ministry did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment on Gantz's remarks.
    Israel supported the 2018 withdrawal of the United States from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and, with Washington now taking part in negotiations to revive the pact, has urged caution.
    "A nuclear deal, if signed with Iran, does not mark the end of the road," Gantz told the Conference of Presidents of Major American Organizations. "We need to have offensive capabilities and a set of sanctions ready in our back pockets in case Iran violates a future agreement."
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