Rouhani says Iran, Venezuela should deepen ties

July 5, 2020 - 22:59

TEHRAN – President Hassan Rouhani has said that Iran and Venezuela should deepen “strategic” and “friendly” ties.

He made the remarks in a message to Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro on the occasion of the anniversary of Venezuela’s independence.

“Stressing the necessity of deepening friendly and strategic relations between the two countries, I am sure that we will witness the Venezuelan people’s victory in overcoming the current problems in near future,” Rouhani predicted.

Michael Hollingsworth, a professor at the University of South Alabama, has said that trade between Iran and Venezuela poses no threat to the world.

In an interview with ILNA published on Saturday, Hollingsworth said that the United States is well aware that any action against the Iranian tankers will have consequences.

Reportedly, the U.S. seeks to seize four Iranian tankers sailing towards Venezuela.

The lawsuit, filed late on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, was followed on Thursday by a warrant issued by U.S. District Judge James Boasberg for the seizure of the more than 1.1 million barrels of gasoline in the four vessels, Reuters reported.

Legal sources said the gasoline could likely only be seized by U.S. authorities if the tankers enter U.S. territorial waters.

In the civil-forfeiture complaint, U.S. federal prosecutors aim to stop delivery of Iranian gasoline aboard the Liberia-flagged Bella, Bering, Pandi and Luna, according to the lawsuit, first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Boasberg issued the warrant for the seizure of the gasoline in the tankers based on probable cause that the fuel is forfeitable, the Justice Department said.

The lawsuit also aims to stop the flow of revenues from oil sales to Iran.

Five Iranian oil tankers by the names of Petunia, Forest, Faxon, Clavel, and Fortune carried fuel to Venezuela despite the United States’ sanctions. The last of them entered Venezuelan waters on June 1.

The tankers carried 1,520,000 barrels of gasoline and diesel fuel to Venezuela. There was also a team of Iranian engineers and specialists from the oil industry on board heading for the country.


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