The first of five tankers loaded with gasoline sent from Iran reached Venezuelan waters late Saturday, expected to temporarily ease the South American nation’s fuel crunch while defying Trump administration sanctions targeting the two U.S. foes.
The oil tanker Fortune encountered no immediate signs of U.S. interference as it eased through Caribbean waters toward the Venezuelan coast and Venezuelan officials celebrated the arrival.
“Iran and Venezuela have always supported each other in times of difficulty,” Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza tweeted. “Today, the first ship with gasoline arrives for our people.”
The tanker and four behind it were finishing a high seas journey amid a burgeoning relationship between Iran and Venezuela, both of which Washington says are ruled by repressive regimes.
Russ Dallen, head of the Miami-based investment firm Caracas Capital Markets, confirmed the Fortune's location using ship tracking technology. He said the Clavel, the last of the five ships, was about 3 1/2 days behind the lead tanker.
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