TEHRAN (Iran News) – The final vessel in a flotilla of three Iranian fuel tankers entered Venezuela’s waters on Saturday, in the latest sign of cooperation between the two countries.
The Faxon, carrying around 234,000 barrels of fuel, was directly north of Venezuela’s northeastern Sucre state as of 9:37 a.m. local time (1337 GMT) on Saturday, Refinitiv Eikon data showed. The second vessel, the Fortune, had docked at western Venezuela’s Amuay port on Friday, the data showed, Reuters reported.
The flotilla was the second group of fuel tankers Iran has sent this year to Venezuela, a once-prosperous OPEC nation now experiencing gasoline shortages due to US sanctions on state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela.
The shortages have led to snaking, sometimes days-long lines outside PDVSA gas stations. Together with unreliable water, power, and cooking gas supplies.
Washington sanctioned PDVSA last year as part of its push to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who says the United States is seeking to steal Venezuela’s oil riches.
Iran’s oil industry is also under US illegal sanctions, and the growing cooperation between Tehran and Caracas this year has alarmed US authorities. But the three tankers – just like a flotilla of five tankers that Iran sent between May and June – arrived without incident.
The first tanker in the current group, the Forest, docked at central Venezuela’s El Palito port on Tuesday.
Iran’s shipments signal Tehran’s commitment to aiding its South American ally despite US efforts to stymie such cooperation.
Leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei praised the crew and captains of the first flotilla that took Iran’s gasoline to Venezuela despite threats by the administration of US President Donald Trump to take action against them, according to Press TV.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry has said any attempt by the US to stop them will be met with “a swift and decisive response.”
In a letter to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres in May, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif issued a stern warning against the US’ provocative acts through dispatching its naval forces to the Caribbean Sea with the goal of disrupting the course of Iranian tankers carrying fuel for Venezuela.
- source : Iran Daily