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Iran prepared to retaliate if U.S. stopped Venezuela-bound tankers: news agency

CommoditiesJun 13, 2020 11:55AM ET
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© Reuters. The Iranian tanker ship "Fortune" is seen at El Palito refinery dock in Puerto Cabello

DUBAI (Reuters) - An Iranian news agency close to the elite Revolutionary Guards said on Saturday Iran's naval forces were preparing to target U.S. commercial vessels in the Gulf last month in case U.S. forces interfered with Venezuela-bound Iranian oil tankers.

Iran sent a flotilla of five tankers of fuel to gasoline-starved ally Venezuela in May, and Tehran has said it will continue the shipments if Caracas requests more, despite Washington's criticism of the trade between the two nations, which are both under U.S. sanctions.

"According to reports received by Noor News, after increasing military threats against Iranian vessels headed for Venezuela, an order was issued to Iran's armed forces to identify and track several U.S. merchant vessels in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman," Noor News said on its website.

"Options for reciprocal action were immediately identified and monitored for possible operations," the agency added.

Iran complained to the United Nations last month and summoned the Swiss ambassador in Tehran, who represents U.S. interests in the Islamic Republic, over possible measures Washington could take against the Iranian tankers.

The United States, which did not hinder Iran's tanker cargoes, is considering imposing sanctions on dozens of additional foreign oil tankers for trading with Venezuela, a U.S. official told Reuters earlier this month.

Iran seized a British-flagged tanker in the Gulf last yearafter British forces detained an Iranian tanker off theterritory of Gibraltar. Both vessels were released after amonths-long standoff.

In an alert that appeared aimed squarely at Iran, the U.S. Navy issued a warning last month to mariners in the Gulf to stay 100 meters (yards) away from U.S. warships or risk being "interpreted as a threat and subject to lawful defensive measures".

Tension between Washington and Tehran has escalated since 2018, when U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers and reimposed crippling sanctions targeting particularly its vital oil industry.

Iran prepared to retaliate if U.S. stopped Venezuela-bound tankers: news agency
 

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Comments (11)
Klaus Weyers
Klaus Weyers Jun 13, 2020 8:08PM ET
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they cant make gasoline out of it..
Michael Herløv
Michael Herløv Jun 13, 2020 4:35PM ET
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Venezuela has plenty of oil.... Why import the stuff?
Dan Chan
Dan Chan Jun 13, 2020 3:24PM ET
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useful strategy to bring back oil price from the stork Us market . Conn man business!
Ted Dirty
DirtyTed Jun 13, 2020 3:03PM ET
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Oil price back to 41 Monday...
Roman Cerny
Roman Cerny Jun 13, 2020 3:03PM ET
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In your dreams dear Ted. Demand is still very low + we have second COVID wave about to start, look what happened eg. in Beijing today, Iran itself for several weeks already, increased cases in some European countries, some states in the USA and of course south America...
Space Lord
Space Lord Jun 13, 2020 3:03PM ET
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Oil price go will back to 25$ by august, to normal real-life price.
Jose Da silva
Jose Da silva Jun 13, 2020 3:03PM ET
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41? No $48 - $50 by wednesday
Jason Zou
Jason Zou Jun 13, 2020 2:09PM ET
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Who is chickened out here?
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Jun 13, 2020 1:53PM ET
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Reuters becomes iran propaganda.
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Jun 13, 2020 1:52PM ET
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Yawn, Reuters recycles news
Brady Murray
Brady Murray Jun 13, 2020 1:44PM ET
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Bring it Iran! Try not to *****yourselves up in the process. Last time you shot a commercial airliner down you fools.
Alan Rice
Alan Rice Jun 13, 2020 1:06PM ET
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USA: Lead by (SUSTAINABLE) example??
Kilo Byte
Kilo Byte Jun 13, 2020 1:06PM ET
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You first, move to a cave.
milena villa escobar
milena villa escobar Jun 13, 2020 1:04PM ET
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Jusd rid the world of these Iranian rulers already and do the world a favor.  The Iranian people will welcome the US troops and Donald Trump with open arms after so many years of this ridiculous oppression.
Francesco Lucchesi
Francesco Lucchesi Jun 13, 2020 1:04PM ET
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the world would-be better off with the ayatollah than trump
Brady Murray
Brady Murray Jun 13, 2020 1:04PM ET
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Francesco Lucchesi lol. yeah right
andy matalobos
andy matalobos Jun 13, 2020 12:25PM ET
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This wannabe emperor needs to be hidden in his bunker till his new replacement takes over the presidency of our nation.
 
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