BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:00 A.M.) – At least five Iranian fuel tankers are on the way to Venezuela to help the South American nation with their fuel crisis.
According to reports, the first Iranian tanker, Fortune, has already entered Atlantic waters while the last tanker, Clavel, crossed the Suez Canal and entered the Mediterranean Sea.
These shipments mark one of the first times in recent memory that Iran has sent such a large amount of fuel to Venezuela.
— CNW (@ConflictsW) May 14, 2020
However, the Iranian tankers may face some issues while heading to the South American nation, as the U.S. Navy has recently deployed as many as four warships to the Caribbean Sea within in the last 24 hours.
According to maritime observers, the U.S. Navy deployed the U.S.S. Detroit, U.S.S. Lassen, U.S.S. Preble, and U.S.S. Farragut to the Caribbean to continue its anti-drug operations.
All in ??#USSDetroit travels in formation with #USSLassen, #USSPreble, #USSFarragut and a P-8A aircraft assigned to VP-26 while conducting maritime security operations in the Caribbean. The forces are deployed to the @Southcom AOR. #forcetobereckonedwith #EnduringPromise pic.twitter.com/gDDpexPlF7
— USNAVSO_4THFLT (@NAVSOUS4THFLT) May 13, 2020
While it is not clear if the U.S. Navy will confront the Iranian tankers, there is the possibility that they intercept the vessels.
Venezuela is currently under a significant economic blockade that has been imposed by the U.S. and its allies.
In addition to Venezuela, Iran is also under heavy sanctions that have been imposed by Washington.
Should the U.S. make the decision to intercept the vessels, this could further increase tensions in the Persian Gulf, especially after Iran’s latest confrontation with the U.S. Navy in the Strait of Hormuz.