Expert calls Iranian oil tankers’ arrival in Venezuela a ‘political victory’

May 29, 2020 - 17:20

TEHRAN - Kourosh Ahmadi, an expert on international affairs, has called arrival of oil tankers in Venezuela a “political victory” for Iran.

In an interview with IRNA published on Thursday, Ahmadi said any action by the United States against the tankers could lead to an international crisis.

“Obstructing route of tankers in international waters is contrary to international law which is hard to be done even by Trump’s administration which has no respect for international law,” the former diplomat noted. 

He added, “Any action against these tankers could lead to an international crisis.” 

Tehran’s decision to send Iran-flagged tankers to Venezuela amid U.S. sanctions against both countries has infuriated those in the White House.

Iran has warned to retaliate any aggression against its tankers while noting that it has the inherent right to trade with other countries.

Mehdi Sanaei, a top advisor to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, said on Tuesday that arrival of Iranian oil tankers in the Venezuelan waters in the Caribbean is an end to a “unipolar system”.

“Iranian oil tankers’ arrival in the Caribbean Sea is an important event based on international law and with international dimensions which will remain in history as a main chapter in ending unilateralism. This event rings the bell of end to unipolar system,” Sanaei tweeted in Persian.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has hailed the arrival of Iranian tankers to Venezuela amid U.S. threats.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel has also said that arrival of Iranian oil tanker in Venezuela breaks the United States’ “unacceptable” and criminal blockade”.

“The first of five Iranian oil tankers arrives in Venezuela breaking unacceptable and criminal blockade. #VivaLaSolidaridad Long live solidarity among the peoples,” the Cuban leader tweeted on Sunday.

So far three of five Iranian fuel tankers have arrived in Venezuela, a show of defiance by two states sanctioned by the U.S. 

The second oil tanker of an Iranian tanker flotilla carrying fuel for Venezuela docked on Tuesday at a port serving state-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela's (PDVSA) second-largest refinery, Cardon, in western Venezuela.

The tanker, part of the flotilla carrying 1.5 million barrels of gasoline from Iran, was escorted by Venezuelan naval frigates and helicopters as it entered the nation's exclusive economic zone. The third of the five-tanker flotilla also entered national waters on Tuesday, according to dw.com.

Venezuelan Oil Minister Tareck El Aissami tweeted pictures of the Iranian-flagged tanker, the Forest, and the crew upon their arrival at the Venezuela port.

The first of Iranian tankers, the Fortune, arrived at a port serving the El Palito refinery, on Monday in a show of defiance by both Tehran and Caracas, which are under U.S. sanctions. 

"Thank you, Iran," Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro said on Twitter on Sunday just moments before the Fortune docked. "The end of Ramadan brings us the arrival of the ship Fortune, a sign of the solidarity of the Islamic people of Iran with Venezuela. In times where the supremacist empire intends to impose its rule by force, only the brotherhood of free peoples will save us."
 
NA/PA

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