FOURTH oil-filled Iranian tanker reaches Venezuelan shores defying US pressure

FOURTH oil-filled Iranian tanker reaches Venezuelan shores defying US pressure REUTERS/Pedro Nunes
Carrying hundreds of barrels of much-needed gasoline, an Iran-flagged vessel crossed into Venezuelan waters, the South American country’s Navy confirmed. It comes days after other Iranian tankers moored at Venezuela’s ports.

The Faxon has safely arrived in Venezuela following a long journey in rough seas, the Venezuelan Navy wrote on Twitter. A short clip was also uploaded showing their littoral ship escorting the friendly vessel as it cruised through the Caribbean Sea.

The tanker is part of a five-ship flotilla dispatched to bring a total of over 1.5 million barrels of fuel to Venezuela. Three vessels, the Fortune, the Clavel, and the Forest, have already reached their destinations.

Caracas previously claimed that Washington was ready to apply “military force” to frustrate their voyage, citing reports that a maritime task force was amassing outside Venezuela’s exclusive economic zone. Tehran warned of retaliation if the US causes any “trouble” for the ships. 

Though oil-rich, the South American country plunged into an energy crisis and economic downturn due to sweeping US sanctions and political unrest after Washington-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself ‘interim president’.