WASHINGTON (JTA) — Venezuela and Iran are involved together in several economic and nuclear proliferation sanctions-busting schemes, Manhattan’s district attorney said.
Robert Morgenthau said Tuesday in an address at the Brookings Institute here that his New York office has gathered information about the schemes.
Venezuela and Iran are "in bed together," he said, and have "created a flourishing partnership rooted in a shared anti-American rhetoric and policy."
Morgenthau stressed that the absence of any U.S. or international economic sanctions program on Venezuela is problematic, and that Iran appears to be taking advantage of this vulnerability.
Iran and its influence on Western Hemisphere countries such as Venezuela pose a threat to the United States and the international community, he said.
"The world must no longer assume that [Venezuelan President Hugo] Chavez is bluffing when he speaks," Morgenthau cautioned. "It is important that the public generally, and responsible government officials in particular, be aware of the growing presence of Iran in Latin America."