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The ‘Biggest Ever’ Flotilla Of Iranian Tankers Is En Route To Venezuela With Fuel

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Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

It appears both Iran and Venezuela are ready and willing to test the outgoing Trump administration in a major gambit to skirt sanctions in a crude and fuel export scheme.

The daily American military newspaper Stars & Stripes alongside Bloomberg reports this weekend that Iran “is sending its biggest fleet yet of tankers to Venezuela in defiance of U.S. sanctions to help the isolated nation weather a crippling fuel shortage,” based on sources familiar with their movements.

“Some of the flotilla of about 10 Iranian vessels will also help export Venezuelan crude after discharging fuel, the people said, asking not to be named because the transaction is not public,” the report continues.

The 'Biggest Ever' Flotilla Of Iranian Tankers Is En Route To Venezuela With Fuel
Illustrative file image

This appears to be the first instance Iran has sent such a large fleet, which may potentially include smaller military escorts or patrols, or possibly armed commandos on board. Things could get interesting especially when the flotilla crosses the Caribbean Sea, given the concentrated presence of US Navy warships there.

While Maduro’s Venezuela is rich in crude, it’s actually for over the past year suffered a nationwide fuel shortage, given state-run processing plans which turn crude into usable gasoline have long fallen derelict and suffered mechanical failures. Caracas has sought outside help, including from the Iranians and Russians, in not only importing the necessary mechanical parts and operational products, but in bringing in teams of technicians that can bring the facilities online.

In the meantime Iran has launched several rounds of fuel deliveries since last summer. At least one major attempt to get Iranian fuel to Venezuela saw four tankers intercepted by the US military in August. The US federal government seized the over 1.1 million barrels of petroleum and later auctioned it off.

The last batch of Iranian petrol to make it through was reportedly in October. Tankers carrying Iranian fuel typically switch off their transponders to avoid attention for their sanctions-busting activities.

But given the size of this current flotilla, it’ll be hard to miss, as Stripes reports further:

The current fleet under sail is about double the size of the one that first startled international observers in May, crossing a Caribbean Sea patrolled by the U.S. Navy, to be greeted by Maduro himself upon arrival.

We’re watching what Iran is doing and making sure that other shippers, insurers, ship owners, ship captains realize they must stay away from that trade,” Elliott Abrams, the U.S. special representative for Iran and Venezuela, said in September.

It’s as yet unclear precisely when the large flotilla would reach the Caribbean, but the group of ships would certainly be wiser to keep a distance until at least after January 20, when Joe Biden is inaugurated and enters the White House.

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Lone Ranger

Safe trip guys.
Hope they have some defense.

Garga

If they sail under Iran flag, that’s the best defence or deterrence for them

Lone Ranger

He will cry and rage ?

Cromwell

That rat should cry for the rest of his life,he is a serial killer.

Garga

comment image

Cromwell

They can send Iranian naval escort that can carry cruise missiles.

Garga

No need for any escort or commando on board if they carry Iran’s flag.
Our navy which is not still a blue navy has other tasks to do, And it doesn’t matter how many ships we send, in the Caribbeans, the US can easily send 10 times firepower in addition to airforce.

Unarmed and without escort, they are innocent commercial vessels. If the US attempt to pirate them near its mainland, 2 can play this game, I think humiliation of confiscating one of their military ship in our pond is thousand times more than 10 tankers.
Just like @chris chuba I hope they reach their destination while Trump is still in office. Damn! I wish he didn’t leave the office at all, he was doing a very fine job destroying the US from within. But all in all there is no difference between Trump and Biden, both do what they are told to do.

Jim Allen

US Navy will seize an Iranian flagged ship.
Sailing under a Russian Federation flag, or a Russian Navy escort is the best. US Navy seized 4 tankers, claiming them Iranian, confiscated the cargo, and auctioned it off. The tankers are privately owned, and probably returned. Then there’s the tanker US had the British seize, and held at Gibraltar if I recall. It was having mechanical issues, US did everything possible to prevent the ship being released, but failed, the ship had to limp home, as US prevented any port enroute to allow the ship to enter for repairs.
I think Iran is cool as Hell for sailing against US sanctions againstIran, Venezuela, and any country it’s trading with. If the ships depart Iran today, or in the next several days, they should arrive in Venezuela before Trump leaves office, if indeed he does leave. There’s increasing tangible evidence of fraud, and other high crimes, and misdemeanors committed by the left wingnut extremists. Not that it matters what Zionist Khazar pretender is selected as President.
US Government is a wholly owned subsidiary of The City of London.
Our President is:
Lord Jacob Rothschild, and Illuminati Committee of 300.

Linda Wilson

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Jim Allen

At least one Iranian tanker is Russian flagged. The biggest one.
Didnt the last trip have Russian escort ?
This is the best protection, US Navy won’t risk an engagement with a Russian warship.

Cromwell

Well Iran has international law on its side,not that matters to the gangsters in Washington,hope they send an escort with some marines and anti ship and aircraft missiles on board.

chris chuba

I am glad Iran is doing this so that the ships arrive before Trump leaves office.
1. If they arrive, then Trump’s illegal threats will ring hollow to his base of war mongering fools.
2. If he seizes the ships then any reprisals will correctly be blamed on his actions and not Biden’s. Biden may end up being an idiot but Biden should be blamed for his own actions, not Trump’s.

And most importantly, both the Venezuelan people and Iranian people need the commerce and should not be held hostage to the U.S. election cycle.

verner

structured like this, the morons will have to intercept the ships, bring them back to houston and sell the stuff and steal the proceeds. the rest of the compatriots might raise a warning finger, talking about piracy and so on but not so that anyone actually can hear them. ought to have a couple of chinese destroyers or frigates along as a deterrent.

Jim Allen

Russian Guided Missile Cruisers is a better choice. Or, having the ships sail under Russian Federation flags.
I think there’s two Tu-160 fast bombers, and a long range MiG-31 in Venezuela. I dont recall them returning to Russia.
There’s Russian submarines on station along US East coast, and Russia is rebuilding one of it’s Navy bases in Cuba, I don’t know if it’s operational yet. There’s been a Russian cruiser patrolling in the area. There’s Russian submarines on station on US West coast, and regular patrols by Russia’s strategic bombers.
All carry hypersonic weapons. US Government won’t dare to interfere in Russian Naval operations, there’s no analog for Russia hypersonic weapons, or defense in the world, today.

farbat

the delusion that such trade can be stopped by force is nothing but a delusion and if the sea becomes dangerous for one it will be that way for all

Jim Allen

Tell that to England, and Japan.
Germany came very close to starving England with it’s U-boats, and US submarines left not a single Maru on the surface of the oceans, or in port.
During WWII. There’s a map of U-boat sinkings that designates the location of ships sunk by U-boats in WWII. The East coast of the America’s, into the Gulf of Mexico to the mouth of the Mississippi River, and up the coast, and across the Atlantic to Europe, and Archangel looks like a solid red line.
So, yeah trade very much can be stopped, or reduced to starvation by force of arms.
Commerce shipping is what submarines are built for. Anyone that believes otherwise may be delusional.

James Adams

Blow it up. Communism and Islam is cancer !!!

You can call me Al

Sunni Islam is cancer, not Shia.

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