An oil tanker loads gas in Assaluyeh seaport at the Gulf, 1,400 km south of Tehran, Iran May 27, 2016. (Reuters)
June 12, 2021
Two Iranian oil tankers carrying about 1.4 million barrels of Iranian crude oil are set to arrive in Baniyas, Syria on Friday, Tanker Trackers reported on Thursday.
Another about 300,000 barrels of oil are on a third tanker waiting in the Suez Canal, according to the report.
Iran has reportedly shipped about five million barrels of crude oil to Syria in recent months, amid a severe fuel shortage in Syria.
The shipments come as an Iranian Naval fleet
reportedly entered the Atlantic Ocean for the first time on Thursday without mooring at other countries’ ports, according to Iranian media. The fleet includes the IRINS Makran navigator and the IRIS Sahand destroyer, Coordinating Deputy of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari told Iranian media.
The fleet departed from Bandar Abbas in the Persian Gulf last month and reached the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday after traveling 6,000 nautical miles and passing through the Cape of Good Hope. This is the first time the Iranian navy has gotten this far into the Atlantic. The two vessels are reportedly headed to Venezuela.
According to Politico, the vessel is believed to be carrying fast attack boats intended for sale to Venezuela.
The Biden Administration has called on Venezuela and Cuba to turn away the ships, warning that the US would take “appropriate measures” to “deter the transit or delivery of such weapons,” according to Politico.
Venezuela is reportedly using the situation to try and gain relief from US sanctions that were imposed by the Trump Administration, according to the Politico report.
During a speech on Tuesday, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah
stressed that the gasoline crisis in Lebanon could be addressed within a few days if the country would just accept Iranian oil shipments, which are under sanctions by international law.
“All the humiliation that the Lebanese people suffer in front of gas stations will end quickly when the decision is made to abandon America and import oil from Iran in Lebanese pounds,” said Nasrallah.
The Hezbollah leader stated that Hezbollah will eventually negotiate directly with the Iranian government on its own and import Iranian oil through the Port of Beirut, if the Lebanese government does not begin “bearing its responsibility.”
The statements seem to imply that Hezbollah would openly act against the wishes of the Lebanese government.
Such a move could bring Iranian fuel tankers not far from Israel’s shores. Earlier this year, a number of Iranian ships were hit by attacks blamed on Israel, with a number of Israeli ships hit by alleged Iranian attacks as well. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year that a dozen Iranian oil tankers headed to Syria had been attacked by Israel.
The Jerusalem Post