Exclusive: Report of US seizure of Iranian fuel cargoes false
Iran Press TV
Friday, 14 August 2020 5:44 PM
A report that the United States has seized Iranian fuel cargoes aboard ships bound for Venezuela is false, an informed Iranian source has told Press TV.
The informed source explained on Friday that the fuel shipments in question had already been purchased and paid for and that neither the vessels carrying them nor the shipments themselves were related to Iran.
The Wall Street Journal had on Thursday cited US officials as saying that the US government had for the first time seized vessels allegedly carrying Iranian gasoline to Venezuela. It said the US had recently seized four vessels, called Luna, Pandi, Bering, and Bella, on the high seas and they were being transferred to Houston, Texas.
Iran's Ambassador to Venezuela Hojjat Soltani had already rejected the report as another "lie" and an instance of "psychological warfare."
"Neither the tankers are Iranian, nor their owner or flags have anything to do with Iran," he said in a Twitter post on Thursday.
Soltani said that the fake news aimed to cover up the failure of the US administration's policy toward Iran.
Iran sent five ships carrying Iranian fuel to Venezuela in May and June to help revive oil refineries in the South American country, which is suffering from a severe fuel shortage as a result of US sanctions.
The Iranian shipments – sent on Iranian-flagged vessels and operated by Iranian crew – drew the ire of the United States, which has imposed draconian sanctions on both Iran and Venezuela with the aim of choking off their oil revenues.
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