IRGC-Linked Telegram Outlet Reports: Venezuelan Navy Acquired Iranian Anti-Ship Missiles CM-90, Inaugurates New Missile Maintenance Facility; Missiles Equip Venezuela's New Iranian Fast-Attack Missile Patrol Boats

April 17, 2024

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On April 16, 2024, "The Iranian Military Capacities," a Telegram channel linked to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) shared photos showing Vladimir Padrino Lopez, a.k.a "Padrino," Minister of Defense for the National Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela, during the inauguration ceremony of the new CM-90 AShM maintenance facility at Naval Base Agustin Armario, in Puerto Cabello, Venezuela.

Iranian CM-90 Anti-Ship Missiles At Venezuelan Naval Base

According to the channel, the information available indicates that the Venezuelan Army's naval force had purchased Iranian-made Nasir cruise missiles, saying the operation comes in the context of ongoing military cooperation between Iran and Venezuela.[1]

The locally produced winged missile was designed and manufactured by experts at the Aerospace Industries Corporation (AIO) of the Iranian Ministry of Defense. The missile was officially announced in 2017. It is equipped with active radar guidance and a turbojet engine with a range of 90 kilometers, as its name implies. It has a quick response, low altitude, and high accuracy in hitting its target, in addition to strong destructive capacity, and high jamming capability via advanced radar.[2]

Venezuelan Defense Minister's Visit To Agustin Armario Base

The channel of the Venezuelan ministry of defense on Instagram carried videos of Defense Minister Lopez during his visit to the venue. In the first video, his presence aims at assessing the operational capacity of the missile arsenal of the Bolivarian Army. He wrote that the process comes as part of Venezuela's "full exercise of its rights as a free, sovereign and independent nation." In another video, the minister, aboard a patrol boat with senior commanders, said he is going attend the inauguration of the headquarters for the new squadron of the Venezuelan coastal guard.[3]

On September 25, 2018, Vladimir Padrino Lopez was designated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). along with three other members of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's inner circle. Lopez was appointed the Sectoral Vice President of Political Sovereignty, Security, and Peace (Venezuelan Defense Minister) in June 2018. He previously held a multitude of military posts, including Second Commander and Chief of the General Staff of the Bolivarian and Joint Chief of Staff of the Central Integral Defense Strategic Region.[4]

Established Military Cooperation: UAVs, Patrol Boats, And Cruise Missiles

The channel said the missile is installed on fast-attack missile patrol boats, such as the Iran-made Zolfaghar, also spelled Zulfiqar, commonly known as the Peykaap III, which Venezuela had also purchased from Iran.

On X, formerly Twitter, a defense and military analyst who specializes in South American military affairs shared photos from the inauguration ceremony, saying that CM-90 AShM missiles are derived from Iran's Nasir.[5]

On October 18, 2023, the U.S. Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned individuals and entities based in Iran, China, Hong Kong, and Venezuela for enabling Iran's destabilizing ballistic missile and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) programs, and for supporting IRGC, the Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL), and its Aviation Industries Organization (IAIO), a subordinate of the Qods Aviation Industries (QAI) in the production and proliferation of missiles and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).[6]

Jaber Reihani, Iran's Defense Attaché in Venezuela and former commercial director for QAI, has coordinated Iran's defense cooperation with Venezuela, to include UAV sales and defense agreements. He has also overseen Iran's efforts to assist Venezuela with its UAV program. The Iran-based Seyed Hamzeh Ghalandari, MODAFL's Director General for International Relations, has facilitated Iran's UAV and defense-related deals with Venezuela.[7]

In June 2023, Iran's President Ayatollah Ebrahim Raisi visited Venezuela and presided, with his counterpart Nicolas Maduro, the signature of 19 memoranda of understanding for bilateral cooperation in multiple economic sectors, including information technology and defense.[8]



[1] Telegram, April 16, 2024.

[2] Telegram, April 16, 2024.

[3] Instagram, April 16, 2024.

[4], September 25, 2018.

[5] Twitter, April 16, 2024.

[6], October 18, 2023.

[7], October 18, 2023.

[8] Tasnimnews, June 13, 2023.

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