Washington confirms seizing shipments of Iranian oil on board four ships bound for Venezuela

The US Justice Department confirmed Friday that it had seized oil shipments that were on board four ships sent by Iran to Venezuela, which is experiencing a stifling economic crisis, announcing that the shipments were linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

And the Ministry of Justice announced in a statement that "with the help of foreign partners, these confiscated property have become seized with the United States," noting that the total cargo tonnage exceeds one million barrels of oil (about 1.12 million barrels), describing the matter as the largest seizure of oil shipments launched. from Iran.

On July 2, the ministry confirmed that it had filed a complaint with a federal court in Washington, DC, and obtained from it an arrest warrant for the shiploads of Pella, Bering, Pandey and Luna.

Washington indicated that there was a link between this operation and an incident recorded in the Sea of ​​Oman condemned by the US army on Wednesday, during which Iranian forces intercepted an oil tanker flying the flag of Liberia in international waters, and used a helicopter and two ships to control it.

"After the implementation of the US confiscation order, the Iranian Navy boarded a ship that has nothing to do with the case, in an apparent attempt to recover the detained oil, but it did not succeed," the US statement stated, noting that the US Central Command published a video of the incident.

The Iranian ambassador to Venezuela, Hajj Soltani, said that the reports about the confiscation of Iranian oil tankers "amount to another lie and psychological warfare" by the United States.

He added in a tweet in Spanish that "the ships are not Iranian, and neither their owner nor the flag they fly has anything to do with Iran."

Venezuela has one of the largest oil reserves in the world, but production has deteriorated and the country is suffering from fuel shortages.

And the sanctions imposed by Washington on the regime of President Nicolas Maduro forced Venezuela, which was dependent on refining to meet its oil needs, to request supplies from allies such as Iran, the archenemy of the United States, to fill the shortage of this substance.


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