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Iranian Oil Tankers Due in Venezuelan Port, With Air force and Naval Escort

Venezuelan air force flying Russian Sukhoi Su-30MK2 fighters escorting Iranian tankers to Venezuelan waters (Image Source: Military Watch)

This week, five Iranian oil tankers entered the territorial waters of Venezuela and are due to arrive in port this weekend.

Following threats from the United States – who invoked its sanctions regime which forbids the tankers to deliver their payload – the Venezuelan government organized an air force and naval escort for the fleet as they entered international waters into Venezuelan territory.

Iran’s delivery to Venezuela is meant to help ease fuel shortages in the country amid the Coronavirus crisis.

In recent years, due to US sanctions and a currency crisis, Venezuela’s own oil refining industry has collapsed.

The US and its self-styled “President of Venezuela”, Juan Guaidó, claim that Venezuela’s need to import petrol proved the mismanagement of the country’s oil industry by the government of Nicolás Maduro.

“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 co-operation,” said Venezuelan Defence Minister Gen Vladimir Padrino.

Venezuela’s UN Ambassador, Samuel Moncada, said that the tankers were “civilian vessels carrying vital goods for our people …. coming from a country that has engaged in legal trade with mine.”

Moncada also told the UNSC, “In the midst of a pandemic, forbidding those vessels from reaching our ports would thus constitute a crime against humanity.”

READ MORE VENEZUELA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Venezuela Files




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