http://www.jpost.com/International/Arti ... ?id=220879
'Die Welt': Iran building rocket bases in Venezuela
By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL, JPOST CORRESPONDENT
German paper says Iranians paid cash to build mid-range missile launch pads on Paraguana Peninsula; Iranian engineers visited site in Feb.
BERLIN – The Iranian government is moving forward with the construction of rocket launch bases in Venezuela, the German daily Die Welt wrote in its Friday edition.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is Teheran’s most important South American ally.
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Iran is building intermediate- range missile launch pads on the Paraguaná Peninsula, and engineers from a construction firm – Khatam al-Anbia – owned by the Revolutionary Guards visited Paraguaná in February. Amir al-Hadschisadeh, the head of the Guard’s Air Force, participated in the visit, according to the report. Die Welt cited information from “Western security insiders.”
The rocket bases are to include measures to prevent air attacks on Venezuela as well as commando and control stations.
The Iranian military involvement in the project extends to bunker, barracks and watch tower construction. Twenty-meter deep rocket silos are planned. The cost of the Venezuelan military project is being paid for with Iranian oil revenue. The Iranians paid in cash for the preliminary phase of the project and, the total cost is expected to amount to “dozens of millions” of dollars, Die Welt wrote.
The Paraguaná Peninsula is on the coast of Venezuela and is roughly 120 kilometers from America’s main South American partner, Columbia.
According to Die Welt, the clandestine agreement between Venezuela and Iran would mean the Chavez government would fire rocket at Iran’s enemies should the Islamic Republic face military strikes.
Meanwhile the German press agency (DPA) reported on Friday that Germany will not contest the placement of the Hamburg- based European- Iranian Trade Bank (EIH) on the EU sanctions list at the end of the month. The US Treasury Department sanctioned the EIH last year, saying it was one of the most important institutions in Europe for financing Iran’s missile and nuclear proliferation programs. Germany was the subject of criticism from American, French, British and Israeli officials because it refused to shut the EIH.
The EIH plays a crucial role in facilitating financial transactions for midsize German firms that are active in Iran. German- Iranian total trade amounted to over 4 billion euros in 2010, making German Iran’s No. 1 EU trade partner.
ALSO THIS IRAN TAKES OVER OPEC-related?? hmmm (I love the way they call it a cartel!)http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110516/bs ... 0516072527
TEHRAN (AFP) – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he has temporarily assumed the duties of the oil ministry, as the oil cartel OPEC prepares for a biannual meeting in Vienna.
"For now, I myself am the caretaker of the oil ministry," Ahmadinejad said in a televised speech late Sunday, without elaborating.
On Saturday, Ahmadinejad dismissed oil minister Masoud Mirkazemi, alongside two other ministers, whose portfolios are expected to be merged with other departments as part of a cabinet streamlining.
Then on Sunday, he appointed caretakers for the industry and social affairs ministries, but did not name anyone for the oil ministry which is to be integrated with the energy portfolio.
His decision to take charge of Iran's most-strategic sector came shortly before the 159th OPEC meeting scheduled for June 8 in Vienna, where the oil producers are represented by their ministers.
Mohammad Ali Khatibi, Iran's representative to OPEC, told AFP on Monday that the president would be eligible to chair the meeting.
"As he is the caretaker of the ministry, he may attend the (ministerial) meeting," he said in a telephone interview.
"But it is not customary... the president usually takes part in summits," Khatibi said, adding he was "expecting" the president to appoint a representative for the upcoming meeting.
Iran, the second largest exporter of crude in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, currently holds the presidency of the cartel, a position it is holding for the first time since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
The oil minister's dismissal also comes amid Ahmadinejad's efforts to change the structure his government, which has become the subject of a political showdown with the parliament.
The conservative-dominated Majlis has argued it should be in charge of the streamlining operation, with some lawmakers criticising the disappearance of the oil industry.