Iran’s 4th oil tanker passes Gibraltar Strait towards Latin America

FNA – Iran’s fourth oil tanker named Faxon which carries the country’s oil products has passed through the Gibraltar Strait as western media reports claim that they are destined for Latin America, more specifically Venezuela.

Faxon is the fourth Iranian tanker after Forest, Petunia and Fortune which have traversed the Mediterranean and passed through Gibraltar Strait towards Latin America, most possibly Venezuela, the western institutes which track the vessels’ voyage in the international waters reported.

The Iranian officials have not yet confirmed or rejected exports of oil products to Venezuela.

According to the report, Iran’s fifth tanker named Clavel has also passed through the Suez Canal and is moving towards Gibraltar.

None of the Iranian tankers has turned off their GPS systems despite the common procedures of oil exports in conditions of sanctions imposed by the US.

Reuters had quoted a senior official in President Donald Trump’s administration as saying on Thursday that the United States is considering measures it could take in response to Iran’s shipment of fuel to Venezuela.

The United States has a “high degree of certainty” that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government is paying Iran tons of gold for the fuel, the official claimed, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“It is not only unwelcome by the United States but it’s unwelcome by the region, and we’re looking at measures that can be taken,” the official added.

Informed sources told Nour News website, close to Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), that the US has sent four of its combat warships along with Boeing P-8 Poseidon fighters to the Caribbean.

According to the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) website, the Freedom-class littoral combat ship USS Detroit (LCS 7) has been sailing in formation with the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Lassen (DDG 82), USS Preble (DDG 88) and USS Farragut (DDG 99) while conducting maritime security operations in the Caribbean on May 11. The forces are deployed to the US Southern Command area of responsibility.

Nour News warned that any pirate-like action to trigger insecurity for Iranian tankers in international waters will be a serious “gambling” which will not remain unanswered by Tehran.

Iranian Government Spokesman Ali Rabiyee blasted the US interference in trade exchange between Iran and Venezuela, and stressed that Iran will not hesitate to sell its oil.

“Iran and Venezuela are two sovereign states. Besides conducting trade and business activity with other countries, Iran has commercial exchanges with Venezuela, too,” Rabiyee said.

He pointed to some rumors spread in the recent weeks on the trade exchanges between Tehran and Caracas, and added, “Iran sells goods to Venezuela and buys goods in exchange. This trade is none of anybody’s business.”

The government spokesman further said, “We will not hesitate to sell our oil in global markets”.