fbpx
Saturday, September 19th, 2020
Home » Security » Iran was ready to attack U.S. commercial ships if Venezuela-bound tankers stopped

Iran was ready to attack U.S. commercial ships if Venezuela-bound tankers stopped

FILE PHOTO: Tanker on fire in the sea of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz on June 13, 2019 after being attacked by Iran

REUTERS, JUNE 13, 2020

DUBAI – An Iranian news agency close to the elite Revolutionary Guards said on Saturday Iran’s naval forces were preparing to target U.S. commercial vessels in the Gulf last month in case U.S. forces interfered with Venezuela-bound Iranian oil tankers.

Iran sent a flotilla of five tankers of fuel to gasoline-starved ally Venezuela in May, and Tehran has said it will continue the shipments if Caracas requests more, despite Washington’s criticism of the trade between the two nations, which are both under U.S. sanctions.

“According to reports received by Noor News, after increasing military threats against Iranian vessels headed for Venezuela, an order was issued to Iran’s armed forces to identify and track several U.S. merchant vessels in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman,” Noor News said on its website.

“Options for reciprocal action were immediately identified and monitored for possible operations,” the agency added.

Iran complained to the United Nations last month and summoned the Swiss ambassador in Tehran, who represents U.S. interests in the Islamic Republic, over possible measures Washington could take against the Iranian tankers.

The United States, which did not hinder Iran’s tanker cargoes, is considering imposing sanctions on dozens of additional foreign oil tankers for trading with Venezuela, a U.S. official told Reuters earlier this month.

Iran seized a British-flagged tanker in the Gulf last year after British forces detained an Iranian tanker off the territory of Gibraltar. Both vessels were released after a months-long standoff.

In an alert that appeared aimed squarely at Iran, the U.S. Navy issued a warning last month to mariners in the Gulf to stay 100 meters (yards) away from U.S. warships or risk being “interpreted as a threat and subject to lawful defensive measures”.

Tension between Washington and Tehran has escalated since 2018, when U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers and reimposed crippling sanctions targeting particularly its vital oil industry.

Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Ros Russell

Other articles you may find interesting

Copyright © 2020 PortandTerminal.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Check Also

Wooden sailing ship at sea. Sails. Rigging

The oldest working cargo ship in the world (1873)

PortandTerminal.com, September 18, 2020 HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA – The 82-foot cargo ship Nordlys — which …

Screen grab coast guard boat in storm

Wild Ride: Coast Guard boat is surfing in the mouth of the Duluth Canal (VIDEO)

PortandTerminal.com, September 18, 2020 DULUTH, MI – Check out the skill and agility of this …