Joseph P Kennedy III defended his father’s company’s relationship with Venezuela while campaigning at a Boston supermarket. Kennedy vocalized that his father’s relationship with Venezuela, who coincidentally has close ties with Iran, has done little to no harm.

The Boston Herald reports that Kennedy said “There’s about $30 billion or so a year of oil that comes out of Venezuela into the United States. It’s the nation’s fifth-largest supplier of oil. To single out my father’s company, Citizens Energy, because they receive a tiny fraction of that and give that away to the poor, and completely ignore the huge multibillion-dollar national and international companies that make huge profits off the oil is hypocritical and irresponsible.”

Citizens Energy receives oil from Citgo, whose parent company is the Venezuelan state-run Petroleos de Venezuela SA.

Kennedy, who recently returned from a week long trip to Israel, is back on the congressional campaign trail in his home state of Massachusetts.

Not surprisingly, any interaction with Venezuela is open to criticism here the United States. “Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, joined Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in mocking U.S. concern over Iran’s nukes, with the two heads of state joking that they had “a big atomic bomb” fueled by their mutual admiration,” writes The Boston Herald.

Just last month, Iran was placed under stricter economic sanctions by the US in the wake of rumors that the Middle Eastern country is becoming a nuclear force.

Despite his vocal support for his father’s decision to remain involved with Venezuela, Kennedy believes the pressure should be kept on its ally Iran.

Kennedy said “There’s certainly no way the U.S. nor the globe can tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran. We certainly can’t take options off the table. There’s just been some of the strongest sanctions ever put into effect on Iran. Evidence, intelligence, indicates they are having some effect. We should give it some time to see how effective those can be. Certainly the threat of force should not be taken off the table.”

Here’s Joe K3 with his comments on the situation:

Joseph P. Kennedy III, the son of former Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II and a grandson of the late Robert F. Kennedy.AP Photo/Elise Amendola