Iran warns US not to interfere with tankers carrying fuel to Venezuela

The Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, warned on Saturday of retaliatory measures in opposition to america if Washington reasons issues for tankers wearing Iranian gas to Venezuela.

“If our tankers within the Caribbean or any place on this planet face hassle led to through the American citizens, they [the US] can be in hassle,” Rouhani mentioned in a phone dialog with the emir of Qatar, the semi-official information company Mehr reported.

A flotilla of 5 tankers wearing Iranian gas for gasoline-starved Venezuela is drawing near the Caribbean, with the primary anticipated to succeed in the rustic’s waters on Sunday, in keeping with Refinitiv Eikon monitoring information.

“Iran won’t ever start up a struggle,” Rouhani mentioned. “We’ve all the time the legit proper to shield our sovereignty and territorial integrity and to serve our nationwide pursuits, and we are hoping that the American citizens is not going to devote an error.“

Iran is supplying about 1.53m barrels of gas and alkylate to Venezuela, in keeping with each governments, assets and calculations made through in accordance with the vessels’ draft ranges.

The shipments have led to a diplomatic standoff between Iran and Venezuela and america, as each countries are underneath US sanctions. Washington is thinking about measures in reaction, in keeping with a senior US reliable who didn’t elaborate on any choices being weighed.

America just lately beefed up its naval presence within the Caribbean for what it mentioned used to be an expanded anti-drug operation. A Pentagon spokesman, Jonathan Hoffman, mentioned on Thursday he used to be now not conscious about any operations associated with the Iranian cargoes.

Venezuela’s defence minister has mentioned its army will escort the Iranian tankers after they achieve the country’s unique financial zone.

Iran seized a British-flagged tanker within the Gulf remaining yr after British forces detained an Iranian tanker off the territory of Gibraltar. Each vessels had been launched after a months-long standoff.

Venezuela just lately arrested mercenaries together with US electorate who botched to mount an operation to kidnap the president, Nicolás Maduro.

The failed raid supplied a propaganda boon for Maduro, who has lengthy claimed to be the topic of a US-sponsored assassination plot.

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