The US has slammed what it’s dubbed the “distraction” of five Iranian fuel tankers delivering gasoline to Maduro’s Venezuela, after four total tankers have successfully reached the sanctions-hit country, with a fifth soon to follow.
A US State Department spokesman downplayed the whole ordeal, which included large Venezuelan military escorts of warships and fighter alongside the tankers for the final 200 miles to the coast, as an orchestrated distraction which will not stop Washington from continuing to “press for the restoration of Venezuelan democracy.”
For days prior to the cross-Atlantic transport, the Trump administration said it was weighing a response, while Caracas complained last week to the UN of “the threat of imminent use of military force by the United States against Iranian vessels carrying Venezuelan-directed gasoline.”
At least two of the tankers, the first couple to arrive, are now docked and discharging their fuel, while the fifth vessel, the Clavel, is still crossing the Atlantic Ocean, headed toward the Caribbean. Their safe arrival sparked national celebrations in both ‘rogue’ countries Iran and Venezuela.
Iran had previously warned that any US attempt at intercepting its fuel tankers “would have serious repercussions for the Trump administration ahead of the November elections” — suggesting the return of a tit-for-tat tanker war scenario such as played out in the gulf last summer.
The Iranian flag was raised over downtown Caracas this week.
But apparently a potential US-Iran-Venezuela crisis in the Caribbean has been averted. Indeed the White House is now facing multiple crises and doesn’t appear in the mood to indulge in any “distraction” in ‘America’s backyard’ waters at this crucial time.
Venezuelan jets escort Iranian oil tankers carrying fuel for Venezuela, which is suffering a fuel shortage, despite having huge oil reserves. President Maduro thanked Iran, depicting their two countries as “revolutionary peoples who will never kneel down before [US] imperialism.” pic.twitter.com/KeBxuuXnoF
— Mike (@Doranimated) May 26, 2020
Not only are tensions with China at boiling point, especially now wrangling over the Hong Kong issue, but the corona-crisis is continuing, now with Minnesota race riots and entire city blocks in American on fire — and a White House battle over ‘Twitter censorship’ to boot.