Venezuela Says First of Iranian Fuel Tankers to Arrive Saturday

A view of the vessel the Clavel an Iranian tanker bringing gasoline to Venezuela sailing on international waters crossing the Gibraltar stretch

A view of the vessel the Clavel an Iranian tanker bringing gasoline to Venezuela sailing on international waters crossing the Gibraltar stretch

A flotilla of five tankers carrying Iranian fuel for petrol-starved Venezuela is approaching the Caribbean.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday warned the United States not to interfere with a shipment of oil bound for Venezuela after the South American nation said it would provide an armed escort for the tankers.

Questioned by Opposition MP, Ramona Ramdial on the government's policy on allowing an Iranian ship said to be delivering fuel to make a stop in Trinidad and Tobago's waters, Young said the government will have nothing to do with the ship's journey.

"If our tankers in the Caribbean or anywhere in the world face trouble caused by the Americans, they [the US] will also be in trouble", Rouhani said in a telephone conversation with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the semi-official news agency Mehr reported.

The US recently beefed up its naval presence in the Caribbean for what it said was an expanded anti-drug operation.

The shipments have caused a diplomatic standoff between Iran and Venezuela and the U.S. as both nations are under United States sanctions.

Iranian Tankers Carrying Gasoline Approach Venezuela

The gall of the Trump administration.

These five ships are listed on the US Department of the Treasury's Specially Designated Nationals lists (SDN List) as blocked property due to their connections to the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) and the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line (IRISL). Ships to arrive tomorrow.

"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 president also offered Iran's help to Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, saying Tehran could assist Doha with the infrastructures and supplying the demands in the sports event. This is Yekuana (PC-23), a Guaiquerí-class patrol boat which is going to escort "Fortune".

Analysts say the USA administration is more likely to use additional economic sanctions than force to deter Iranian-Venezuelan trade, the Washington Post reported.

However, earlier this week a Reuters report stated that in an alert that appeared aimed squarely at Iran, the US Navy issued a warning on Tuesday to mariners in the Gulf to stay 100 metres away from US warships or risk being "interpreted as a threat and subject to lawful defensive measures".

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