Iran’s response will be ‘serious’ if US disrupts oil shipments to Venezuela: FM

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The US will receive a “serious response” from Iran if it takes any measures against an Iranian fuel shipment to Venezuela, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi warned on Monday.

A senior official in US President Donald Trump’s administration told Reuters on Thursday the US was considering measures it could take in response to Iran’s shipment of fuel to crisis-stricken Venezuela.

“I hope that the Americans will not do anything stupid, because that will face a serious response from Iran,” the semi-official ISNA news agency quoted Mousavi as saying.

Also read: Iran’s Zarif warns US against disrupting oil shipments to Venezuela

The Iranian tankers are carrying fuel shipments to Venezuela, Mousavi confirmed, stating: “The activities of these ships are completely official and legal. In fact, this is being done within the framework of free trade, and there is no legal obstacle to doing this legitimate trade.”

Government Spokesman Ali Rabiei also warned the US over potential actions it could take against the Iranian tankers on Monday, saying: “We hope that America does not make such a mistake … if they take any action, we reserve the right to respond and will respond accordingly.”

“No country is required to comply with America’s unilateral sanctions. We want to have a trade relationship and exchange oil with Venezuela,” ISNA quoted Rabiei as saying.

The oil sectors of Iran and Venezuela, members of OPEC, are both under US sanctions.

On Sunday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also warned the US against disrupting Iran’s fuel shipments to Venezuela, saying America will be responsible for the consequences of any “illegal” actions it takes against the Iranian tankers.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi also passed on a message to the Swiss ambassador, who represents US interests in the Islamic Republic, warning against any US threat against the Iranian tankers on Sunday.

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