BY ADAM KREDO
Iran has illegally laundered billions of dollars through the Venezuelan financial sector and is currently stashing “hundreds of millions” of dollars in “virtually every Venezuelan bank today,” according to a former senior State Department official.
“It’s a huge blind spot in those trying to implement sanctions” on Iran, Roger Noriega, a former United States ambassador and assistant secretary of state for western hemisphere affairs, told the Washington Free Beacon.
Venezuela served as Iran’s closest Western ally under the late President Hugo Chavez, who allowed the rogue regime to establish a military and financial presence at the highest levels of the Venezuelan government.
Iran’s foothold in the country is expected to grow exponentially under the rule of Chavez’s likely successor, Vice President Nicolas Maduro.
Noriega and other experts warned House lawmakers at a Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Wednesday that Iran’s terrorist proxy Hezbollah is gaining power in Venezuela.