The Iranian government is pursuing an initiative to build rocket launch bases on Paraguaná Peninsula in Venezuela, according to a report in the German daily Die Welt.
Based on information from "Western security insiders," Die Welt asserts that Iran is building intermediate-range missile launch pads inside Venezuela and that engineers from a construction firm, Khatam al-Anbia, owned by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard visited the site in February.
The Iranian delegation, writes Die Welt, was instructed to concentrate on a plan for establishing the necessary infrastructure for air strikes. This includes the construction of bunkers, barracks, and watch towers. The missile installations are also to include measures to protect Venezuela from air attacks as well as command and control centers. The total cost for the preliminary phase of the project is estimated to be "dozens of millions of dollars," and it is expected to be paid in cash with Iranian oil revenue.
The secret agreement between the two governments was supposedly hatched in November during Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's visit to Tehran. Both governments reaffirmed their commitment to their strong strategic relationship and to their shared desire to create a "New World Order" free of Western control over global affairs.
Chavez is Iran's most valued South American ally and, based on sources inside Iran, the Revolutionary Guards have already created numerous entities and facilities inside Venezuela that are used as fronts for covert operations. Examples of such operations are the exploration of uranium for Iran's nuclear program and the housing of Quds forces and Hizballah cells seeking to expand their terrorist operations into Latin America.
The new military alliance between Iran and Venezuela might require Venezuela to retaliate with rocket fire against Iran's enemies should the Islamic Republic be attacked. This is particularly troubling for American security interests since Iran remains defiant against efforts to halt its nuclear program.