World: Venezuela’s Maduro Is Weighing Purchase of Iranian Missiles

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(Bloomberg) -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said he was weighing the purchase of Iranian missiles, days after Colombian President Ivan Duque accused him of doing so.

Nicolas Maduro wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: CARACAS, VENEZUELA - MARCH 12: President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro speaks during a press conference at Miraflores Government Palace on March 12, 2020 in Caracas, Venezuela. Maduro announced a travel ban for travelers flying in from Europe and Colombia and restricted gatherings and massive events in an attempt to stem the proliferation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Maduro also confirmed there are no cases in Venezuela. (Photo by Carolina Cabral/Getty Images) © Photographer: Carolina Cabral/Getty Images South America CARACAS, VENEZUELA - MARCH 12: President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro speaks during a press conference at Miraflores Government Palace on March 12, 2020 in Caracas, Venezuela. Maduro announced a travel ban for travelers flying in from Europe and Colombia and restricted gatherings and massive events in an attempt to stem the proliferation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Maduro also confirmed there are no cases in Venezuela. (Photo by Carolina Cabral/Getty Images)

“It’s not a bad idea,” Maduro said in a televised interview on state TV, saying he’d since asked Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino to look into “every possibility” of acquiring short-, medium- and long-range missiles from the Islamic Republic.

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“Venezuela is not prohibited from acquiring weapons,” Maduro said. “If Iran is able to sell us a bullet or a missile, and we are able to buy it, we will.”

Last week, Colombia’s Duque said he’d received intelligence warning of Venezuela’s intentions to acquire missiles from Iran.

The Iranian embassy in Venezuela didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Iran has recently been exporting gasoline to Venezuela in defiance of U.S. sanctions intended to choke off both nations’ oil revenue. In May, Iran sent five gasoline tankers, temporarily easing a severe gas shortage, and a ship with food in June for the opening of a new supermarket.

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