Two Iranian Warships In Atlantic Suspected To Be Shipping Weapons To Venezuela
ATLANTIC - The United States has been watching two Iranian warships as they entered the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in history and continue on a path toward South America, suspected to be shipping weapons to Venezuela.
Iran's government controlled Press TV reported that Iranian Rear Admiral Habiollah Sayyari who is the Deputy Chief of Army for Coordination stated that two Iranian ships have indeed entered the Atlantic Ocean: One Makran oil ship that has been converted to a cargo ship and an Iranian built Sahand destroyer.
According to Satellite images, the Makran cargo ship is seen on April 28th to have seven high speed Iranian fast attack missile boats most often used by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard on deck, the same missile boats that have been in frequent confrontations with United States warships and has a mobile launch platform for helicopters.
Sayyari failed to mention where the two Iranian vessels were headed, but said they are carrying out the "longest maritime mission toward the North Atlantic Ocean." and also stated, "We consider our presence in international waters an inalienable strategic right of the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy and we will continue on this path with strength".
In May, Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh also did not mention where the two vessels were headed but stated, "Iran is always present in international waters and it has this right based on international law and it can be present in international waters, no country is able to violate this right, and I warn that no one makes miscalculations. Those who sit in glass houses should be careful".
In a published analysis, the US Naval Institute stated "If the boats are delivered, they may form the core of an asymmetrical warfare force within Venezuela’s armed forces. This could be focused on disrupting shipping as a means of countering superior naval forces. Shipping routes to and from the Panama Canal are near the Venezuelan coast."
The Biden administration is currently insisting that both Cuba and Venezuela turn away the two Iranian craft if they attempt to approach either countries ports. A senior administration official spoke to Politico and stated, "The delivery of such weapons would be a provocative act and understood as a threat to our partners in the Western Hemisphere. We would reserve the right to take appropriate measures in coordination with our partners to deter the transit or delivery of such weapons."