United States' desperate actions against Iranians - similar to what Secretary of State Pompeo called the Minister of Hatred - were only a sign of the unfortunate failure of so-called maximum pressure, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Iran Press/Iran News: Seyed Abbas Mousavi reacted in a Twitter message, early on Thursday, to the US sanctions on Iranian captains of five oil tankers carrying fuel to Venezuela by the United States.

In a statement on Wednesday, the US Treasury Department announced the sanctions against the captains of the five ships from previously sanctioned Iran Shipping Lines and National Iranian Tanker Company that were used to deliver Iranian gasoline to the Nicola Maduro's government in Venezuela.

Announcing the sanctions on Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US is committed to keeping applying pressure on both governments.

US Treasury Department’s statement said: "These captains, who led five Iranian flagged tankers — CLAVEL, PETUNIA, FORTUNE, FOREST, and FAXON — delivered gasoline and gasoline components to Venezuela, and are now added to OFAC’s Specially Designated National and Blocked Persons List (SDN List)."

The sanctioned captains were identified as Ali Danaei Kenarsari, Mohsen Gohardehi, Alireza Rahnavard, Reza Vaziri, and Hamidreza Yahya Zadeh.

Iran has sent five ships carrying 1.5 million barrels of gasoline to Venezuela, and the tankers delivered their cargo to Venezuela in recent weeks.

Following the transfer of Iranian fuel shipments to Venezuela, the Caracas government has been able to start distributing fuel throughout the country under a new system.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro praised the Iranian government for sending oil tankers saying he is scheduled to travel to Iran soon and will take part in a joint commission with officials from the two countries to sign agreements on energy, agriculture, finance, technology, science, and health.

In recent months, the United States has sought to overthrow the legitimate government of Venezuela, which has an anti-American approach, by threatening, imposing sanctions, putting pressure on Venezuela's economy. An approach that has never been successful.