Wiesenthal Center Alert to Organization of American States: “Tehran’s Planned Nuclear Capacity in Venezuela Has All the Makings of a New Cuban Missile Crisis”

Centro Simon Wiesenthal
Cabello 3872, P.B. “C” - Buenos Aires - Argentina
Tel: (5411) 4802-1744 / Fax: (5411) 4802-1774
E-mail: info@cswlatinoamerica.org

Panama, December 3, 2010

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has alerted the Organization of American States (OAS) to an Iranian missile base planned for Venezuela.

In a letter to the OAS Secretary for Multidimensional Security, Adam Blackwell, Dr. Shimon Samuels (Wiesenthal Center Director for International Relations) and Sergio Widder (Director for Latin America), noted that the German daily Die Welt of November 25, 2010 reported on an agreement between Iran and Venezuela, signed by President Hugo Chavez in Tehran on October 16 (www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article11219574/Iran-plant-Bau-einer-Raketenstellung-in-Venezuela.html

The article indicates that facilities will include the deployment of platforms for storage of Shahab 3 missiles (range 1300 – 1500 km.), together with Scud-B’s (range 285 – 330 km.) and Scud C’s (range 300, 500 y 700 km.), plus four mobile platforms, which will be operated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. The agreement grants permission to Iran to open fire “in case of emergency”, and will train Venezuelan missile launch officers at Tehran Sharif University in coming months. These installations are scheduled for activation by the end of 2011.

Die Welt also points to Venezuela’s uranium supplies, its own nuclear development program, and attempts to purchase missiles from Russia that were destined for sale to Iran, which was cancelled due to the sanctions regime.

“All warning measures to counter the Iranian nuclear threat to the Near East and Western Europe, can now be compromised. Tehran will control a new capacity with all the makings of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. This time, however, the target kill-box potentially covers the southern United States, Central America, the Caribbean, and Venezuela’s neighbors”, stated Dr. Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations of the Wiesenthal Center.

“In view of Iran’s patronage of international terrorism, its direct involvement in the AMIA Jewish Center atrocity in Buenos Aires -an aggression on hemispheric soil- we urge the OAS to take immediate countermeasures to confront this new threat to the security of the Americas”, stressed Widder.

“The time for action is now,” concluded the Center.

For further information, contact Dr. Shimon Samuels at +336 09770158 or Sergio Widder at +507 6223-5173, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter
, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).