Saturday, August 8, 2020

Will Trump Stop Iranian Oil Tankers Headed to Venezuela?

Iranian oil tankers have been spotted steaming for Venezuela in an alleged illicit ‘gold-for-oil’ trade intended to circumvent U.S. sanctions against both Iran and Venezuela. According to Reuters, a U.S. official said the U.S. has a “high degree of certainty” that Venezuela’s illegitimate president, Nicolas Maduro’s government is paying Iran tons of gold for the fuel – and the U.S. is considering measures to respond.

The question is – will President Trump stop the tankers?

Bloomberg has reported that Venezuelan officials loaded about 9 tons of gold – worth about $500 million – on jets owned by Iran’s Mahan Air – an airline suspected of being controlled by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and spreading COVID-19 throughout the Middle East. Flight logs show more than a dozen trips from Iran to Venezuela over the past month. This is a lot of gold for Iran’s shattered economy and fragile regime.

In exchange for oil refining technologies, “each of the flights left Venezuela loaded with gold and cash in euro and dollar denominations,” according to a U.S. official and an IRGC adviser, reported the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). Despite being oil-rich, Venezuela is suffering an acute scarcity of refined gasoline.

The WSJ also reported that the Guards adviser said, “the refining renovations are under way via a contract with IRGC-controlled engineering conglomerate Khatam al-Anbiya.”

Meanwhile, at least one tanker carrying fuel loaded at an Iranian port has set sail for Venezuela, according to vessel tracking data from Refinitiv Eikon on Wednesday, reported by Reuters. According to The Nation, citing maritime services’ information, three tankers, Fortune, Petunia, and Forest are currently crossing the Atlantic, while two more, Faxon and Clavel are transiting the Mediterranean Sea, possibly also destined for Venezuela.

In an April 29 press conference, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Mahan Air flights to Venezuela “must stop.” “This is the same terrorist airline that Iran used to move weapons and fighters around the Middle East,” he said, reported WSJ. But what about these Iranian ships?

SEE ALSO: Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Ordered to Destroy American Naval Vessels

As I previously wrote, last month the U.S. deployed a task force to the Caribbean, near Venezuela, on a “counternarcotic” mission. The force includes at least three destroyers, a littoral combat ship, the USS Detroit, Coast Guard cutters, helicopters, Navy P-8 patrol aircraft, and Air Force E-3 AWACS and E-8 JSTARS for airborne surveillance. The operation also includes security forces assistance brigades.

Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said there were “thousands” of sailors, Coast Guardsmen, soldiers, airmen and Marines involved. This is the largest military deployment to the region in many years. So, the forces are there to interdict the Iranian ships.

Senior Trump national security officials have also said this U.S. military deployment is not only counternarcotic, reported the Miami Herald, but also aimed at denying funds to Nicolas Maduro and his closest allies, who have been recently indicted in the U.S. on drug trafficking charges.

These Iranian ships now steaming toward Venezuela could be the test of how serious this administration is about that, and about dealing with both rogue regimes.

READ NEXT: How Communist Cuba’s Intelligence Runs Venezuela >>

Advertisement
HELP Expose the TRUTH About Creepy Joe Biden

Paul Crespo
Paul Crespo
Paul Crespo is a defense and national security expert. He served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. He holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. Paul is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and a Contributor to American Defense News.

29 COMMENTS

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
29 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
solekak227
solekak227
2 months ago

Getting paid every month easily more than $15k just by doing simple job online. Last month i have exactly received $16839 from this online job just by giving this 2 hrs a day online. Now everybody on this earth can get this job and start earning more cash online just by follow instructions here……..for more info visit any tab this site Thanks a lotCopy Here………>> Read MoRe 

Matanya Rafael
Matanya Rafael
2 months ago

That is not an illicit allegation, Paul Crespo, do not be ignorant, Iran and Venezuela are sovereign countries and they can do whatever they want because to begin with, they are not violating any so-called unilateral sanctions, they will trade and they can do it because the green tickets that you are dying for do not intervene here, in addition the usa does not own neither the gold of venezuela nor the fuel of iran, u.s and your insolent article is out of whack, you fool, usa you can Do what you want in your home but that of others is respected, ignorant and if the United States does something, it would be piracy violating international law.

R Ferris
2 months ago
Reply to  Matanya Rafael

Yes, it is best to support the Maduro regime because socialism is the way.

Why embargo a regime that has done so much for it’s people? Do not help others who are oppressed, mind your own business yankee dog.

Amazing that the country with the world’s largest oil reserves must import oil from Iran, nothing wrong about this, just a sign of the typical success of socialism.

Viva the revolution.

Rattlerjake
Rattlerjake
2 months ago
Reply to  R Ferris

They aren’t importing oil, they are importing refined fuel.

Russell Branca
Russell Branca
2 months ago
Reply to  Matanya Rafael

WELL SAID!!

Russell Branca
Russell Branca
2 months ago
Reply to  Russell Branca

This is fake. My comment “WELL SAID” was in support of Matanya Rafael and not in support of R. Ferris

mojo
mojo
2 months ago
Reply to  Matanya Rafael

rafael the best thing you could do is run for iran or Venezuela, you and your thoughts and customs are not welcome in the U.S
If I were you I would not walk in the midst of Americans spewing your vitriol you may win a free trip out of the U.S. on a leaking boat across the ocean.

Eddie Price
2 months ago
Reply to  Matanya Rafael

That is hogwash!

Joe Brake
Joe Brake
2 months ago
Reply to  Matanya Rafael

I don’t think any country is free to violate US sanctions with impunity, and if the illicit usurper of power in Venezuela is further looting Venezuela’s treasury to provide Iran with funds to continue developing nuclear arms for use against the US and its allies, the US can take whatever steps deemed necessary to prevent such transactions.

Rattlerjake
Rattlerjake
2 months ago
Reply to  Joe Brake

And exactly WHO gave the US the right to dictate what any other country does? Even the UN is unable to legally force a nation that is not part of the UN to follow it’s rules. It’s obvious that YOU and many other morons commenting on here, don’t understand “international law”, the sovereignty of nations, nor do you understand sanctions. Just because the US imposes sanctions doesn’t mean that a country cannot continue to carry on business; they just can’t carry on business with the US and it’s allies, which usually is enough that it causes major economic problems for them. This doesn’t stop them from trading with Communist countries or other non-NATO countries who are not part of those sanctions. It also doesn’t stop them from using international airspace or waters. We don’t own Venezuela, nor do we own Iran, and that is why they remain screwed up, but if we had a say in how they operate then we wouldn’t need sanctions. The people of those two countries have allowed dictators to take control and are unable to defeat them because they allowed themselves to be disarmed and allowed the government to control everything. In fact, it is Americans, like Sean Penn and democrap politicians, who supported Chavez and Maduro, and fooled the people into believing that socialism is great, just like they are doing to the millennials here. Venezuela is no different than N. Korea, Sudan, China, etc. where the people have no say, and are too weak and intimidated to take back their countries.

Joe Brake
Joe Brake
2 months ago
Reply to  Rattlerjake

Might makes right, and this applies to bringing to a halt any activity which benefits those regimes which are threatening to destroy the US, either by nuclear weapons development or by poisoning our populations with illegal drugs. This is the oldest and most time tested principle of international law in existence.

Tammy Snyder
2 months ago
Reply to  Joe Brake

So we just sit bye and watch millions to die then you would as you say dictate another countries attrocity. to destroy there people. Some times you just gotta get of the couch and. Do something.

Studnet of history
Studnet of history
2 months ago
Reply to  Matanya Rafael

That’s why the sanctions were adopted – to give a color of legality to intercepting the trade. But more to the point, countries do what they have to do. Iran must not get more gold with which to develop nukes; Maduro must be toppled before the crisis there metastasizes, and millions starve to death. The sanctions against Rhodesia (aka Zimbabwe), e.g., were no more legal, and no less enforced; neutral shipping to Japan was not allowed in WWII; many other examples.

Vladilyich
Vladilyich
2 months ago
Reply to  Matanya Rafael

10 THUMBS UP!

Joe Cox
Joe Cox
2 months ago

It’s called Free Trade!

Mike W
Mike W
2 months ago

Why would Trump stop them? As said above they are free to trade. Besides before Venezuela went under gas was selling there for under $.20 per gallon. OUR oil companies don’t want to sell that cheap. Venezuela is also a founding member of OPEC. They were one of the largest oil producers in the world. Not sure who is selling to who here?

Captain Cross
2 months ago

What happened to Venezuela’s oil? Oh that’s right – Socialism. So another question – how do they pay for anyones oil? Would you give them credit? Me either.

Rattlerjake
Rattlerjake
2 months ago
Reply to  Captain Cross

Again, it helps if YOU read the article and actually comprehend what is said! Venezuela is NOT buying oil! They are getting two things – 1) oil REFINING technologies – “the refining renovations are under way via a contract with IRGC-controlled engineering conglomerate Khatam al-Anbiya.” and 2) FUEL, because they presently don’t have the ability to produce refined fuel. The “oil” tankers are transporting fuel, not crude oil!

Rattlerjake
Rattlerjake
2 months ago
Reply to  Captain Cross

It’s helps to understand that Venezuela has huge resources of crude oil, the problem is 1) the majority of countries don’t buy crude oil, they buy refined oil products, like gasoline, diesel, and various fluids in bulk, because they don’t have refineries, 2) Venezuela cannot refine that oil because they only have the tech. to extract that crude oil, and 3) none of the countries that can refine crude, need to buy oil or they are part of the NATO sanctions.

Venezuela’s huge oil reserves are worthless unless they can market it to those who need it. With refinery technology, Maduro can get richer by refining their oil and then selling it to nations that are not participants of the sanctions.

Truckman
Truckman
2 months ago

well there is a world wide ban on Iran exporting anything so any nation is free to intervene and should and also the socalled leader of venezuele is nothing but a murdering thug that the people has been trying to get rid of so we need to turn the ships aroud or confacate them and I do not care what you libs say so don,t say it

Rattlerjake
Rattlerjake
2 months ago
Reply to  Truckman

There is no “world wide ban”! Sanctions only work if the countries are part of the “political” side that create the sanctions. Russia and China do NOT participate in US/NATO sanctions, nor does N. Korea, Cuba, and many others, just as we don’t participate in sanctions established by communist nations. Neither the US, the UN, nor any other country has the right or authority to stop Iran or Venezuela from exporting or importing anything. The whole objective of sanctions is to get enough countries to participate that it makes it impossible for the country to survive which might cause them to agree to certain international demands to get the sanctions lifted.

Too many commenters on here have the delusion that the US or the UN or NATO, etc. have a right to control other countries. Not every country is a US ally, not every country is a member of the UN OR has signed any or all of the UN treaties. The very ideology that you idiots are spewing is a ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT that dictates what every county is ALLOWED to do!

Jojodmonkey
Jojodmonkey
2 months ago

Well, that is what they make torpedoes for!!!

John
2 months ago

I think the Navy should sink the ships carrying this oil. At the least confiscate them and bring to a US port. I think it’s time to invade the country big tome and get rid of Madura and all his liberal thugs. NOW’

Vladilyich
Vladilyich
2 months ago
Reply to  John

The United States hasn’t won a war since 1945 (and they were ohly on the winning side of ALLIES. They had best learn from their poor track record in that area and not start anything they can’t finish.

Rattlerjake
Rattlerjake
2 months ago
Reply to  John

John the socialist or communist! The US has NO right or authority to sink or confiscate an Iranian ship in international waters, or an aircraft flying over international airspace. Likewise we have no right or authority to invade a sovereign nation like Venezuela just because we don’t like their leader.

Valdez
2 months ago

In 1962, I was aboard the USS Warrington, DD843, a destroyer assigned to the Cuban blockage of Russian freighters with nukes on board. Today we should also blockade Venezuela form these Iranians. A strong US Naval presence would show the world we are serious in our resolve to prevent Iran and Venezuela from doing business. The world runs on the economy. Follow the money and you will find the corruption and like a cancer must be stamped out.

Rattlerjake
Rattlerjake
2 months ago
Reply to  Valdez

You’re talking apples and oranges. First of all, there are differences in jurisdiction – International waters can be contrasted with internal waters, territorial waters and exclusive economic zones. The entire Caribbean falls under territorial waters, not international waters. Cuba is surrounded by territorial waters of the UK, US, and central and S. America. Because the UK and US are allies, and most of the waters contain US and UK territories, NATO was able to blockade any shipping in or out of Cuba by preventing those ships from crossing those territorial waters. In essence, Cuba was “water locked” by being surrounded by other territorial waters. Venezuela is not so locked in by other territorial waters and we cannot enter Venezuelan waters an block it, that is a violation of international law (a form of trespassing).

Ships sailing the high seas are generally under the jurisdiction of the flag state (if there is one)

A. D Roberts
2 months ago

Why would Venezuela need oil? They have plenty. Oh, maybe they can’t get it out of the ground since the communists have taken over.

Rattlerjake
Rattlerjake
2 months ago
Reply to  A. D Roberts

Again, it helps if YOU read the article and actually comprehend what is said! Venezuela is NOT buying oil! They are getting two things – 1) oil REFINING technologies – “the refining renovations are under way via a contract with IRGC-controlled engineering conglomerate Khatam al-Anbiya.” and 2) FUEL, because they presently don’t have the ability to produce refined fuel. The “oil” tankers are transporting fuel, not crude oil!!

People, Places & Things

- Advertisment -

Must Read

TAKE OUR POLL