António Guterres

WORKING 24/7: António Guterres

Ships transporting fuel to Venezuela could be heading to Trinidad and Tobago.

This according to a report on argusmedia.com published May 17 which stated Iran is warning the US against trying to intercept its fuel shipments to Venezuela, as Tehran tries to help state-owned PDVSA repair its crippled refining system.

“A clutch of fuel tankers that loaded in Iran are steaming out of the Mediterranean and appear to be headed toward Venezuela or nearby Trinidad and Tobago, shipping data indicate,” stated the report.

It added that Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warning Washington against any attempt to disrupt its shipments to Venezuela, noting that Tehran will take “appropriate and necessary measures to counter any threats”, according to a notice posted on Iran’s state-owned tanker company NITC’s official Telegram account.

The report noted Iran and Venezuela are targets of extensive US sanctions, including measures designed to thwart oil sales and equipment imports.

“The US administration and Venezuela’s US-backed political opposition assert Iran’s co-operation with Venezuela is part of a malign alliance that is helping Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro to hold onto power,” it stated.

It added that among the tankers listed as heading to Venezuela is the Fortune, which is believed to be part of US-sanctioned NITC’s fleet, according to shipping data seen by Argus.

“The vessel is supposed to arrive around 25 May in Trinidad, where at least one other tanker from another origin recently transshipped Venezuela-bound cargo, sparking a political controversy in Port of Spain,” it stated.

“Trinidad is among a number of Caribbean countries that have not endorsed the US-led campaign to drive Maduro out of power in favour of opposition leader Juan Guaido,” it added.

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