The US is going on the offensive once again against Venezuela, this time attempting to break up growing Iranian cooperation and assistance to Caracas. The two so-called ‘rogue states’ recently targeted for US-imposed regime change are helping each other fight coronavirus as well as Washington-led sanctions. Specifically Tehran has ramped up cargo deliveries related getting Venezuela’s derelict oil refineries fully operational.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in new statements has called on international allies to block airspace specifically for Iran’s Mahan Air, currently under US sanctions, and which has in recent days delivered cargoes of “unknown support” to the Venezuelan government, according to Pompeo’s words.
Late last week it was revealed Venezuela received a huge boost in the form of oil refinery materials and chemicals to fix the catalytic cracking unit at the 310,000 barrels-per-day Cardon refinery, essential to the nation’s gas production.
Repair of the refinery is considered essential to domestic gasoline consumption, the shortage of which has recently driven unrest amid general food and fuel shortages, especially in the rural area.
Mahan Air is considered to have close ties to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and its deliveries to Caracas are expected to continue.
“This is the same terrorist airline that Iran used to move weapons and fighters around the Middle East,” Pompeo asserted in his Wednesday remarks.
Pompeo demanded the flights “must stop” and called on all countries to halt sanctioned aircraft from flying through their airspace, and to further refuse access to their airports.
Mahan Air first came under sanctions in 2011 as Washington alleged it provided financial and non-financial support to the IRGC.