Iran First Tanker in Venezuela to Deliver Much-Needed Gasoline
IRAN NEWS ECONOMIC DESK
TEHRAN – The first of five tankers carrying Iranian gasoline to Venezuela has arrived in the Latin American country despite the U.S. threats.
“The ships of the sister Islamic Republic of Iran are in our exclusive economic zone,” Venezuelan oil minister Tareck El Aissami wrote on Twitter.
His tweet came after the arrival of the first tanker, named Fortune, which was escorted by the Venezuelan armed forces after entering the country’s waters.
The five tankers are reportedly carrying about 1.5 million barrels of gasoline.
The shipment comes amid tensions between Tehran and Washington, which has imposed sanctions on Venezuelan oil exports and Iran.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday warned of “consequences” if the US stopped the ships from reaching their destination.
Meanwhile Venezuela’s permanent representative to the UN has welcomed the arrival of Iranian tankers loaded with gasoline to the South American country’s waters, urging U.S. President Donald Trump to avoid an act of aggression based on the “wrong advice” of warmongers.
In a series of tweets on Sunday, Samuel Moncada cited an open letter to Trump written by a group of 14 retired experts of the US intelligence community, who warned him against a military attack on the Venezuela-bound Iranian fuel tankers.
“The Iranian gasoline reaching Venezuela is a landmark in the struggle for sovereignty, independence and peace. Trump and his minions are thinking of a military attack against the tankers amidst the pandemic. His experts advise him otherwise,” he wrote.
Moncada also enumerated the arguments provided by the experts against any “unnecessary adventure” by the US against Iranian vessels, saying they believe that “the act of war does not serve U.S. interests.”
Any such attack could trigger “unpredictable responses” and lead to “unprecedented situations” beyond U.S. control, the Venezuelan envoy quoted the experts as saying.
“Warmongering Generals & advisers in Washington are playing with fire in a dangerous situation and exploiting Venezuelan extremists. They are seeking a war with Iran in the Middle East contrary to US interest. They’ve have attempted this many times in the past,” Moncada wrote.
He further emphasized that Trump’s threats will not weaken Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro but rather strengthen him and unify most of the nationals against aggression.
“In their long experience in defending the US, they do not understand how could attacking legal trade between two countries that do not pose a national threat serve their own interests. Venezuelans, meanwhile, want no war either, but dialogue,” he wrote.
Moncada said, “Trump’s policy thus far has been a failure and, even with the pandemic, it seems to have no chance of success in the near future. Avoiding a war resulting from the wrong advise of adventurers in Washington and Venezuela is the best option for the US.”
Also on Sunday, the Iranian embassy in Caracas posted a video of the tanker arriving at Venezuelan waters. “The first Iranian tanker reached the Venezuelan coasts. Grateful to the Bolivarian Armed Forces for escorting them,” it tweeted.
The first of five Iranian tankers carrying 1.53 million barrels of gasoline and alkylate reached Venezuelan waters late Saturday to ease the Latin American nation’s fuel crunch.