Home / World / Venezuela-Bound Iranian Fuel Now Headed to the US: Report
Venezuela-bound Iranian fuel now headed to US, sources say

Venezuela-Bound Iranian Fuel Now Headed to the US: Report

WASHINGTON – Oil tankers carrying shipments of Iranian fuel covered by a U.S. seizure warrant are sailing to the United States after talks between U.S. authorities and shipowners, a U.S. government source and a maritime source said.
Iran had planned to transport gasoline to Venezuela, a supply line Tehran and Caracas have flaunted in defiance of U.S. sanctions.
Washington has imposed sanctions on both countries to stifle oil exports and deprive their governments of their primary source of revenue.
Iran’s action against another vessel on Wednesday in the Gulf was in retaliation against the Greek owner of some of the ships carrying the fuel cargoes, the government source and two maritime sources said.
U.S. prosecutors filed a lawsuit in July to seize the gasoline aboard the four tankers, and a judge then issued a warrant for seizure.
Fuel cannot be confiscated until the boats transporting it enter U.S. territorial waters.
The owners of the four vessels have agreed to transfer the fuel to other vessels so that it can be shipped to the United States, a U.S. government source said Thursday. The warrant only covered cargoes, not ships.
The U.S. Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department declined to comment on the case on Thursday. Neither the Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA, nor Venezuela’s petroleum or information ministries responded to requests for comment.
The United States has already threatened to impose sanctions on all shipowners and vessels involved in the oil trade with Venezuela and Iran.
The four tankers initially carrying the cargoes were the Liberian-flagged Bella, Bering, Pandi and Luna. They are owned and managed by companies controlled by the Greek companies Vienna LTD and Palermo SA.
On Wednesday, the vessel that was boarded by Iranian forces near the Strait of Hormuz, the Wila, is owned by Bandit Shipping and controlled by the Greek company IMS SA.
Vienna, Palermo and IMS did not immediately respond to requests for comment sent outside of regular business hours.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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