Iran 2nd fuel cargo delivered to Venezuela despite US sanctions
The third and final vessel from a fuel-laden Iranian
flotilla has entered Venezuela’s waters, completing a second such mission in
less than a year in defiance of American sanctions targeting both nations.
Faxon was directly north of Venezuela’s northeastern Sucre state as of 9:37 a.m. local time (1:37 p.m. GMT) on Saturday, according to data from vessel tracking service Refinitiv Eikon.
The vessel is carrying the remaining 234,000 barrels of fuel from the 820,000 that the fleet has been tasked with taking to Venezuela. Faxon is sailing in the wake of Forest and Fortune that respectively docked at the Latin American country’s coast on Tuesday and Friday.
Five Iranian vessels had carried out the previous fuel delivery mission between May and June. The former flotilla also delivered the equipment that the Latin American country needed to shore up its gasoline industry, which has been hit hard by the American bans.
Iran-Venezuela relations date back around 70 years. The ties have featured considerable alignment over the past two decades, including in determined opposition to Washington’s unilateralist and interventionist foreign policy.
In response to the joint stance, Washington has been pursuing a “regime change” policy towards both countries, and attempted to almost entirely block their trade link with the outside world through the sanctions.
Tehran and Caracas have signed momentous agreements in the areas of trade, energy, industrial, defensive, cultural, and educational cooperation to try and deflect the pressure.
Also on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held talks over the phone with his Venezuelan counterpart Jorge Arreaza, in which the Venezuelan official said his country’s “historic” relations with Iran were at their best possible juncture.
The talks examined “the geopolitical threats” that faced the nations and constituted a menace to peace and multilateralism, Arreaza said in a tweet.
The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, cited its top diplomat as saying that Caracas had learnt from Tehran how it was supposed to confront the US’s coercive measures.
The US has imposed sanctions on state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) as part of its push to oust President Nicolas Maduro, creating gasoline shortages in the once-prosperous OPEC nation.
Iran’s oil industry is also under US sanctions.