US Says Iran Helping Venezuela’s Oil Sector

Abrams speculates Iran being paid in gold

Elliott Abrams continues to drive administration allegations against Venezuela, and this week that seems to be centering on ties to Iran, where he is accusing Iran of helping them upgrade their oil sector in the face of US sanctions.

Abrams speculated in comments that Iran was being paid in gold to avoid US banking sanctions. He offered no evidence for this, nor would it be illegal in any way for Iran and Venezuela to make trades this way.

This is mostly just complaining about what Venezuela is doing, and what Iran is doing, and how this is contrary to US goals to prevent both of them from selling oil internationally. No specific US response was suggested in the comments.

But as the US continues to make permanent pariahs of nations like Iran and Venezuela, those nations are finding common cause in trade, providing services to one another to keep things going. To the extent that the US intends to keep trying to enforce sanctions on both, this relationship will doubtless continue.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of