Iranian Oil Tankers Entering Venezuelan Waters despite US Warning

May 24, 2020
The first of five Iranian tankers carrying fuel entered Venezuela’s exclusive economic zone late Saturday, despite a US official’s warning that Washington was considering a response to the shipment.
The tanker, named Fortune, reached the country’s waters at around 7:40 p.m. local time (1140 GMT) after passing north of the neighboring dual-island Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago, according to vessel-tracking data from Refinitiv Eikon, Reuters reported.
“The ships from the fraternal Islamic Republic of Iran are now in our exclusive economic zone,” tweeted Tareck El Aissami, Venezuela’s economy vice president and recently named oil minister.
Venezuelan state television showed images of a navy ship and aircraft preparing to meet it. The defense minister had pledged that the military would escort the tankers once they reached Venezuela’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) due to what authorities described as threats from the United States.

US threatens Venezuela-Bound Iranian tankers with ‘imminent use of military force’, claims UN Envoy

May 23, 2020
Earlier this week, Iran’s Foreign Ministry pledged a “decisive response” to possible US attempts to intercept Iranian tankers that are currently en route to Venezuela with a cargo of fuel.
Venezuela’s permanent envoy to the UN Samuel Moncada has warned of a threat which he argued is posed by Washington to Iranian tankers bound for the South American country.
In a tweet on Friday, Moncada announced that Venezuela had alerted the UN Security Council and its Secretary General Antonio Guterres of “the threat of imminent use of military force by the United States against Iranian vessels carrying Venezuelan-directed gasoline”.
In another tweet, Moncada insisted that an “armed attack on tankers, exercising free trade and navigation between sovereign nations, is a crime of aggression”.
He added that “a naval blockade is aggravated by the fact that it aims to deprive an entire population of its vital means of subsistence” and that “it is a crime of extermination”.

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