Venezuelan Military to Escort Iranian Tankers as US considers taking action to block Iran’s fuel transport to Venezuela: report

5 Iranian tankers enter Atlantic en route to Venezuela

Amidst the latest reports of the U.S. mulling fresh sanctions and possibly blocking Iranian fuel exports to South American Nation, Venezuela’s military has said it will escort the five Iranian fuel tankers when they enter Venezuela’s exclusive economic zone, the country’s Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino revealed Wednesday.

Latest report indicated that the U.S. is mulling fresh sanctions and possibly blocking Iranian fuel exports to Venezuela, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

According to the WSJ, the threats are being made in response to the five Iranian gasoline tankers that are sailing toward Venezuela – which the U.S. sees as a potential lifeline for Maduro’s government.

Padrino, in a state television interview, said the escort would “welcome them in and thank the Iranian people for their solidarity and cooperation,” Reuters reported. Padrino also said that the Venezuelan government had been in contact with Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami.

Also, Iran has responded to these U.S. threats by warning Washington that they will defend their assets and retaliate to any incident.

“If the United States, just like pirates, intends to create insecurity on international waterways, it would be taking a dangerous risk and that will certainly not go without repercussion,” Iran’s Nour News Agency said, citing reports that US warships were en route to intercept the tankers in the Caribbean.

ALL five Iranian fuel tankers have entered the Atlantic waters after sailing through the Strait of Gibraltar this week. According to the latest reports, the last Iranian fuel tankers in the Mediterranean Sea entered the Atlantic’s waters after sailing through the Strait of Gibraltar over the last 24 hours.

These five tankers are expected to deliver much needed fuel to Venezuela, as they have been under a U.S.-led blockade that has effectively blocked resources and economic aid from reaching the Bolivarian Republic.

At the same time, the U.S. Navy has recently increased their presence in the Caribbean Sea, with reports of the U.S.S. Detroit group heading towards the equator to continue their mission to stop drug trafficking.

It’s still not clear if the U.S. will intercept these Iranian vessels; however, both countries have sent one another warnings over the last 72 hours.

Separately, an unnamed military source told the ISNA news agency that the US navy’s fresh warning for vessels in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman to stay at least 100 meters away from its ships would not affect Iran’s navigation in the region.

Iran’s Minister of Defense already sent a clear warning to the U.S. on Wednesday, warning them that they will respond to any threat to their boats.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi on Sunday also warned that “the US itself will have to suffer repercussions that arise out of any unthinking measure [that it could take]” against Venezuela-bound Iranian fuel tankers.

“Should the Americans take any measure against our vessels’ free and legal movement around, they would face our decisive response,” Mousavi told reporters in Tehran.

Source: (Sputnik, IRNA, WSJ, Almasdar, and Reuters)


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