Tehran continues to provoke .. The second Iranian tanker loaded with...

Tehran continues to provoke .. The second Iranian tanker loaded with...
Tehran continues to provoke .. The second Iranian tanker loaded with...
Iran continues to provoke Washington by sending fuel shipments to Venezuela, to drain its stagnant oil under the pressure of US sanctions for months, while Washington is following with concern Iran’s actions related to Caracas, which is also subject to US sanctions.

The second of a group of 3 Iranian tankers entered Venezuelan waters, on Wednesday, to transport fuel to the country that badly needs gasoline, which suffers in light of the collapse of its oil industry, and US sanctions paralyzed imports and exports.

According to the tanker tracking data on Refinitiv Eikon and sources, the vessel “Forchin” flying the Iranian flag entered the waters of the exclusive economic zone of Venezuela at 05:45 GMT, following the same route as the “Forrest” ship that anchored in the Venezuelan port of El Palti, on Monday, to unload its cargo from Fuel.

The third “Vaxon” ship is expected to arrive later this week, completing the delivery of about 820,000 barrels of Iranian gasoline and other fuels to the Venezuelan National Oil Company, according to the data.

The three ships crossed the Atlantic Ocean without any problems so far.

Neither the Venezuelan company nor the Oil Ministry responded to requests for comment.

Venezuela and Iran are subject to US sanctions that have crippled the oil industry in the two countries, but they have strengthened their cooperation this year by increasing bilateral trade, which has so far included crude oil, condensates, refinery components, gold and foodstuffs.

Venezuela suffers from a shortage of fuel and petrol, which again led to long queues in the capital, which increases international concerns about Iran’s exploitation of its crisis to market its stagnant oil under the cover of bailing out the South American country.

The United States had warned of suspicious flights between Tehran and the Venezuelan capital, amid reports that Venezuela had paid “gold” to Iran in exchange for oil shipments.

On September 8, the American Associated Press reported that 3 Iranian tankers that had delivered fuel to Venezuela earlier this year had closed their tracking devices for a period of up to 3 weeks, which raised suspicions among global ship trackers about the tankers. I turned to the Iranian ally again.

Iran is pursuing a method of stealth to avoid being monitored by the United States, which is seeking to prevent the delivery of shipments to Venezuela, in a campaign aimed at forcing President Nicolas Maduro to step down from power.

The US agency noted that Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world, but is unable to refine enough crude to meet its domestic needs.

Maduro’s government blames undermining US sanctions for this, while critics say two decades of corruption and mismanagement under socialist rule have brought the once-thriving oil industry into collapse.

Last May, the Venezuelan authorities received 5 Iranian tankers loaded with fuel. While the Iranian fuel supplies of about 1.53 million barrels of gasoline were welcomed by Venezuela, it was criticized by the US authorities because the two OPEC countries are subject to US sanctions.

The Venezuelan government has not announced how it pays for the fuel shipments while its coffers are empty .. However, opposition figure Juan Garrido accuses Nicolas Maduro of buying Iranian fuel with gold extracted illegally from mineral-rich areas in the south of the country. These accusations are backed by Washington.

But a month ago, US officials seized Iranian fuel shipments en route to Maduro in a fleet of four Greek-owned ships flying the Liberian flag.

The military force was not used in the seizures, and the ships were not physically confiscated, but US officials threatened shipowners and captains with sanctions in order to force them to deliver the shipment.

A sector that was already collapsing is hit by the US embargo on Venezuelan oil.

Venezuela is no longer producing only 620 thousand barrels per day compared to 3 million barrels for ten years, according to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries “OPEC”.

So Venezuela is caught in a vicious cycle. Since its coffers are empty due to the collapse of its oil production, it has no money to import fuel.

Without fuel, economic activity is faltering, which increases Tehran’s chances to exploit the country’s crisis in Latin America under the cover of aid.

Before the isolation imposed in mid-March due to the outbreak of the Corona virus, Venezuela was consuming between 70 and 80 thousand barrels per day, according to analyst Jose Toro Hardy, the former head of the state oil company in Venezuela.

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