Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has been supportive of Iran in many different ways, but comments that he recently made in Rome will certainly get the attention of diplomats and commodities speculators alike. At a press conference, Chavez commented, "as Iran's President Ahmadinejad has reiterated, if Tehran would come under attack, oil would get scarce for everyone."
Chavez carefully avoided making the threat explicitly, but the implication is clear. Venezuela might restrict oil exports in the event of an attack on Iran. Venezuela currently exports about 2.5 Mb/d of crude oil, much of it to the United States. It has recently been producing under its OPEC quota (which is about 3.25 Mb/d), possibly in order to pressure the United States to back off from its threats against Iran.
How will Washington react to this threat against its energy security? We will be watching the situation closely over the next few months.