First Iranian fuel tanker all set to arrive: Venezuelan media

The Iran-flagged medium tanker Clavel. (Photo via Oleksandr Mankovsky/Marine Traffic)

The first of five Iranian vessels bringing millions of barrels of gasoline to fuel-starved Venezuela is set to arrive on Saturday, according to Venezuelan state media.

Military ships and planes will escort the tankers to one of the South American nation’s refineries, state TV reported on Saturday. They’ll remain in the country for about four days to unload.

The shipments mark Iran’s latest round of help for Nicolas Maduro’s regime. Venezuela, home to the world’s largest oil reserves, is nearly out of gasoline following years of mismanagement and US sanctions on its oil.

A worker fixes a fuel dispenser machine at a gas station Caracas, Venezuela April 23, 2020. Picture taken April 23, 2020. (Reuters)

A worker fixes a fuel dispenser machine at a gas station Caracas, Venezuela April 23, 2020. Picture taken April 23, 2020. (Reuters)

Over the past two months, authorities have imposed rationing at gas stations nationwide, handing control over to military personnel.

The Trump administration is reviewing a host of options to deter Iran’s support for the Maduro regime, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. Advisers to the president are urging a measured approach that doesn’t flare up US-Iran tensions over a small supply of fuel, the person said.

Iran’s foreign ministry has said any attempt by the US to stop them will be met with a swift and decisive response.

A crew of Iranian technicians is already at work at state-run Petroleos de Venezuela’s Cardon and Amuay refineries, as part of a broader assistance plan that’s brought over workers, supplies and parts in exchange for about 9 tons of gold, or $500 million worth.

Read more:

Iran will retaliate if US causes ‘trouble’ for Venezuela tanker, Rouhani tells Qatar

Army to escort Iran tankers once within economic zone: Venezuela’s defense minister

Venezuelans clamor for gasoline as Washington weighs response to Iran fuel shipment

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Last Update: Sunday, 24 May 2020 KSA 23:10 - GMT 20:10
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