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Venezuela To ‘Protect’ 5 Inbound Iranian Tankers With Ships & Planes Military Escort

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Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

Though largely off the mainstream media’s radar amid all things pandemic related, we’ve been closely following the saga of Iran’s provocatively sending five fuel-laden tankers to gasoline-starved Venezuela, despite repeat and growing threats of US intervention against the brazen sanctions-busting mission.

And now surely escalating matters from Washington’s point of view, the Maduro government has vowed it will provide navy ships and military aircraft to escort the inbound Iranian fuel tankers.

Venezuela To 'Protect' 5 Inbound Iranian Tankers With Ships & Planes Military Escort
Venezualan Su-30MKII fighter jets, via Military Watch Magazine.

Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino said on Wednesday that the military escort will be prepared to defend the ships once they enter Venezuela’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which extends 200 miles off the coast — this after Trump was previously reported to have ordered a US naval build-up in the Caribbean in order to thwart sanctions-busting and narco-trafficking conducted by the Latin American country.

“When they enter our exclusive economic zone, they will be escorted by Bolivarian National Armed Forces boats and planes to welcome them in and thank the Iranian people for their solidarity and cooperation,” Padrino said on state television.

He underscored that he was closely coordinating with Iran’s defense minister, also after Washington has focused on the sanctioned Iranian airline Mahan Air’s flights in and out of Caracas of late, said to be carrying vital equipment for Venezuela’s derelict fuel refineres, needed for domestic gas consumption.

Meanwhile, Reuters details that the tankers are expected to arrive within the next weeks:

The tankers – Fortune, Forest, Petunia, Faxon and Clavel – are carrying around 1.5 million barrels of fuel, and passed the Suez Canal in the first two weeks of May, Refinitiv Eikon data show. They are expected to arrive in Venezuela between late May and early June.

To be expected, US-backed opposition leader and self-proclaimed ‘Interim President’ Juan Guaido is focusing outrage on the presence of Iranians in propping up the Maduro regime.

“We are very concerned for the safety of Venezuelans, and of Latin America as well, due to this attempted Iranian presence on Venezuelan soil,” said Guaido. Echoing Washington accusations, Guaido further said Maduro is paying Tehran “blood gold” which rightfully belongs to the Venezuelan people.

The US has lately accused nefarious outside state actors of helping to facilitate the scheme to ‘smuggle’ gold out of Caracas as payment for the inbound Iranian gasoline as well as refining supplies and support. Pompeo even threw China in the mix in statements made Tuesday.

Meanwhile, many pundits are warning of a clash in the Caribbean, given the presence of US Navy ships.

Iran has warned that any US attempt at intercepting its fuel tankers “would have serious repercussions for the Trump administration ahead of the November elections” suggesting the return of a tit-for-tat tanker war scenario such as played out in the gulf last summer.

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Assad must stay

That’s really great, thank you mister Venezuela, US is totally out of its mind trying to scare Iran from doing trade/business with an ally, it will do them no good, US should focus on its own problems and to realize that it is a dying empire that needs to stop being an empire


Iran was and is more like the dead empire don’t you think?

Assad must stay

No it is rising new empire!!!!


How do you know? Where are your facts? Every empire on this Earth is dead, understand this you degenerate human. We do not belong on EARTH, everything we think we are will be destroyed, I say you hold on to divinity and stop spreading hate.


random guido is rather a stupid person and hence a perfect CIA patsey.. he will be hanging from lamp posts before all this is done with.


Hello Bundy. He seems to definitely be headed in that very direction.

Karen Bartlett

Very brave moves, Iran and Venezuela. Good luck to you. Thanks, Iran, for trying to help the Venezuelan people.


Iran yes, Venezuela not so much


@SF: Why do you still post the ZeroHedge BS, with their Anti-China, Anti-Maduro, and Anti-Iran stance and undertone? Yes they are pro Putin and Pro Trump, but does that make up for them spreading propaganda narratives?? I dont think so..

Anthony Papagallo

One imagines Russian logistics will be supplied covertly. To include targeting co-ordinates on outgoing munitions should it be required. Plausible Deniability notwithstanding of course.


I bet if Trump doesn’t do anything Putin media will say, there was secret Russian services that provided help

Cronos Sin Apellidos

La situación en Venezuela puede agravarse. Decenas de miles de migrantes están regresando a Venezuela, finalmente convencidos de que el cuento de oro que les vendieron desde el extranjero era mentira. Pero, ya que en países como Perú el coronavirus está en auge, es muy probable que muchos de los venezolanos que retornan estén enfermos también.

chris chuba

Morality aside (which is on the side of Iran / Venezuela), with all of the big bucks the U.S. spends on its navy is our only option to accost the ships within 100 miles of Iran or Venezuela? I thought we had a blue water navy.

Again, it would be detestable for us to intercept Iranian ships. I am just perplexed that we spend so much money and twiddle our thumbs.

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