California University professor says fuel delivery to Venezuela is Iran’s right

June 6, 2020 - 21:22

TEHRAN - Ronnie Lipschutz, a professor at the University of California, has said that Iran and Venezuela are independent countries and that Tehran has right to ship fuel to Venezuela.

The two countries have the right to send and receive fuel and the only way for the United States to prevent shipments is to directly intervene by using its Navy which will be considered an act of war, Lipschutz told ILNA in an interview published on Saturday.

However, the professor said, U.S. President Donald Trump is not willing to take such action.

The 5th and last Iranian fuel tanker reached Venezuelan waters on May 31.

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 had 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 in an interview that Iran has demonstrated its “geopolitical power” and its ability to defy 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,” he said.

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”.

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.

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

NA/PA

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