Columnist calls Iranian fuel shipments to Venezuela a crack in wall of sanctions

June 2, 2020 - 2:28

TEHRAN - Conn Hallinan, a columnist for Foreign Policy In Focus, has said that arrival of Iranian fuel tankers in Venezuelan waters was a crack in wall of the United States’ illegal sanctions against Caracas.

This action is a step in reducing “pressure” on Venezuela, Hallinan said, adding the Venezuelan people were in dire need of fuel.

This shipment brought revenue for Iran and from this point of view it was “a crack in wall of the United States’ illegal sanctions,” he told IRNA in an interview published on Monday.

He noted that the Iranian tankers entered the Western hemisphere despite the U.S. sanctions which was a “thorn in Trump’s side”.

The 5th and last Iranian fuel tanker reached Venezuelan waters on Sunday.

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.

Carlos Antonio Alcala Cordones, the Venezuelan ambassador to Iran, told the Tehran Times on Sunday that Iran has demonstrated its “geopolitical power” and its ability to defy the U.S. hegemony by sending fuel tankers to blockaded Venezuela.

“Success in delivery of the fuel shows Iran’s geopolitical power which challenges the United States’ hegemony and shows the capability to create solidarity in international energy market,” the ambassador said.

He said that Iran and Venezuela have challenged the U.S. “imperialism” to defend their right for foreign trade, adding Tehran and Caracas have established strategic ties.

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”.

Iranian Ambassador to Venezuela Hojat Soltani has said that the United States’ unilateral sanctions have lost their efficiency.

“The United States’ unilateral sanctions against Venezuela, Iran and a number of other countries have lost efficiency,” IRNA quoted him as saying in an interview with the Al-Alam news network last week.

He also said that arrival of Iranian oil tankers in the Venezuelan waters was an “international victory”.

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.”

NA/PA

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