Published On: Sun, May 24th, 2020

First Iranian tanker crosses into Venezuela’s economic zone as US ships spotted nearby – tracking data

The first of five Iranian tankers carrying fuel to Venezuela has entered the nation’s exclusive economic zone, tracking data shows. Earlier, Tehran threatened the US with retaliation for interfering with the vessels’ passage.

Iranian-flagged oil tanker ‘Fortune’ reached Venezuela’s EEC (Exclusive Economic Zone) late on Saturday, vessel tracking data from Refinitiv Eikon suggests.

As it heads into Venezuela’s territorial waters, it appears the tanker is being closely followed by a US cargo ship, the Adam Joseph.

Hashtag #GraciasIran [Thank you, Iran] has been launched on Twitter to mark the occasion, with netizens hailing the cooperation between Tehran and Caracas in defiance of the de facto naval blockade by the US.

‘Fortune’ is followed by the other four Iranian tankers – the Clavel, the Forest, the Faxon and the Petunia –  all en route to Venezuela’s shores. The vessels are expected to deliver a total of about 1.5 million barrels of oil to Caracas. Despite boasting the world’s largest proven oil reserves, the country has been struggling to cover its domestic supply needs, with its energy industry ravaged by crippling US sanctions.

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