Iran warns US to avoid problems with its oil tankers

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“If our oil tankers in the Caribbean or anywhere in the world have problems due to the Americans, they, in turn, will also have problems,” said Rohani, in a telephone conversation with the emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad al Zani, quoted by the official page of the Iranian presidency.

“We hope the Americans are not mistaken,” said Rohani, as five Iranian ships carrying fuel to Venezuela are approaching the Caribbean, with the first ship expected to reach the South American country on Sunday.

Rohani stated that Tehran will not initiate any conflict, but reserves “the legitimate right to defend sovereignty and territorial integrity and its interests”. The president also reiterated the importance of security in the region.

For his part, the emir said that Qatar is opposed to any escalation of the situation. “We will make every effort to reduce tension,” he assured.

The Venezuelan government led by Nicolas Maduro reported on Friday at the UN alleged US threats to Iranian ships.

Iran and Venezuela have maintained a close relationship since the time of the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez (1999-2013), cemented in an opposition to the United States, which imposed sanctions on both countries.

Venezuela is experiencing a drop in oil and oil products production due to problems that paralyze several of its refineries, affected by sanctions and lack of investment.

The Iranian energy sector is also weakened due to sanctions imposed by the United States in 2018, with Iran’s export ban on crude oil.



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