Saturday, 30 May, 2020

Rouhani says Iran to retaliate over any USA 'trouble' for Venezuela tankers

A view of the vessel the Clavel an Iranian tanker bringing gasoline to Venezuela sailing on international waters crossing the Gibraltar stretch Iranian Tankers Carrying Gasoline Approach Venezuela
Deanna Wagner | 24 May, 2020, 00:58

One of the tankers is expected to be in nearby waters by this weekend. Both the Iranian and Venezuelan oil sectors are now suffering due to American sanctions.

The US has targeted Caracas and Tehran with crippling sanctions, while maintaining a presence in worldwide waters near both countries.

Iran and Venezuela are moving ahead with the fuel delivery, in defiance of already-imposed sanctions.

Iran-flagged tanker Fortune, the first in the flotilla, was approaching the Caribbean Sea.

They are all loaded with Iranian-refined petroleum products, and will soon approach Trinidad and Tobago territorial waters. Iran is shipping gasoline to Venezuela.

"It is quite wrong, especially for those in this parliament, to give this erroneous impression that we do not comply with United Nations resolutions and sanctions, which we do and this government continues to abide by United Nations resolutions", he added. The four other vessels are following the same route across the Atlantic Ocean, the Eikon data showed.

The Express understands that the Port Authority, law enforcement and other authorities will have to be instructed to ensure any port access is denied to the Iranian tankers. "Considering a series of measures, the United States has created unacceptable conditions in various parts of the world, however, we will never start tensions and clashes".

Iranian Tankers Carrying Gasoline Approach Venezuela
US envoy blasts Iranian oil shipments to Venezuela, breaking sanctions

The shipments mark Iran's latest round of help for Nicolas Maduro's regime. "It will not stop Venezuela's chronic fuel shortages or alleviate the suffering that Maduro has inflicted on the once prosperous people of his country".

"We have continued to say that Iran and Venezuela - both two outliers in the worldwide order - (are) clearly violating global sanctions on both nations with this transaction", he told reporters. Earlier this month reports said Venezuela sent a huge quantity of gold to Iran, in what might have been a payment for the gasoline shipment.

It stated Venezuela's Defence Minister indicated that the tankers would be "welcomed" into its exclusive economic zone.

But a Pentagon spokesman, Jonathan Hoffman, said on Thursday he was not aware of any operations related to the Iranian cargoes.

A force of U.S. vessels, including Navy destroyers and other combat ships, patrol the Caribbean on what U.S. officials call a drug interdiction mission.

There has been no direct U.S. communication that there are any plans to intercept the Iranian tankers.

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