- The consignment is set to ease the severe oil deficit in the country.
- Both Iran and Venezuela have been slapped with sanctions.
- The US is considering unspecified measures against Iran.
An Iranian media network that is aligned to the reigning regime has issued a warning to the United States government against carrying out any moves that would jeopardize its oil shipment to Venezuela. The ship that is destined for the Latin American nation has already left the port.
The consignment is set to ease the severe oil deficit in the country. According to Iran’s government spokesperson, Ali Rabiei, “We sell goods and buy goods in return. This trade has nothing to do with anyone else. We have to sell our oil, and we have ways to do it.” An oil refinery product cargo was recently delivered to Venezuela by plane to fire up its processing plant at the Cardon refinery.
The Iranian administration has stressed that the deal is between it and Venezuela, and the United States has no right to interfere with the process since both countries are sovereign nations. Both Iran and Venezuela are members of the OPEC group, and depend on oil revenues to buttress their economies. Both are reeling from the devastation of the coronavirus crisis and US sanctions.
The US Navy has apparently sent several warships and a Boeing P-8 Poseidon plane to the region. Iranian authorities fear that they have been dispatched to disrupt the shipment. The following warning has been issued via the Nour News agency in regard to this.
“If the United States, just like pirates, intends to create insecurity on international waterways, it would be taking a dangerous risk, and that will certainly not go without repercussion.”
Iran has some experience dealing with such scenarios. An intense standoff emerged last year between the UK and the Iranian government. This was after the British navy seized an Iranian oil tanker destined for Syria. The UK argued that it was in violation of EU statutes which prohibited aid to Syrian President Bashir al Assad.
Iran retaliated by capturing a British tanker for violating marine laws. Tensions eased after Iran allegedly promised not to deliver oil to the al-Bashar regime. Both ships and their crews were released soon after.
The Situation in Venezuela
There are unverified reports indicating that Iran has received payment for the oil shipment in tons of gold. The current Venezuelan oil shortage is as a result of US sanctions. The US prohibits other nations from selling refinery ingredients and oil to the corrupt regime headed by President Nicolas Maduro.
His government is accused of systemic corruption, as well as drug-dealing, among other things. The president and some of his associates were recently slapped with drug trafficking charges. The US government has placed a $15 million bounty on Maduro’s head. The Trump administration alleges that he and his henchmen have conspired with Colombian drug traffickers to smuggle ton quantities of drugs into the US.