Atwan: Rouhani's warning was reason for US withdrawal in case of tankers
Tehran (IP)- Abdel Bari Atwan, a prominent Arab analyst and editor-in-chief of the London-based Rai Al-Youm newspaper, referring to the arrival of a first Iranian oil tanker to Venezuela said that Hassan Rouhani's threat regarding Tehran's decisive response to any Washington moves was a cause for concern and United States' retreat in the case of Iranian oil tankers departure to Venezuela.
Iran Press/Middle East: Speaking to Al-Mayadin, the Arab affairs analyst told on Monday that US President Donald Trump also failed in this matter and allowed the siege and sanctions of Venezuela to be broken with the arrival of Iranian tankers.
"It is Iran's legal right to trade with any country it wants, and just as Washington is working to increase its influence, Tehran has the same right," Pentagon analyst Michael Marouf told Al-Mayadin.
He added that if the United States had prevented the Iranian tanker from entering Venezuela, it would have been nothing short of piracy.
On Sunday, the oil tanker Fortune, from Iran, bound for the El Palito refinery, in the state of Carabobo, entered Venezuelan jurisdictional waters without any mishaps, according to official reports.
Meanwhile, the second Iranian oil tanker 'Forest' entered Venezuelan Special Economic Zone on Monday in order to deliver its cargo.
Three other Iranian oil tankers, the Clavel, Faxon, and Petunia, are also following the Fortune and Forest tankers, heading for the Venezuelan coast.
In order to support the Venezuelan government and people, who are suffering under US sanctions and economic siege, the Islamic Republic of Iran has sent five fuel tankers to Venezuela.
Samuel Moncada, Venezuela's permanent representative to the United Nations, said Sunday night that the entry of Iranian tankers into Venezuelan waters was a turning point in the struggle for sovereignty, independence, and peace.
Venezuelan Oil Minister Tareck El Aissami also thanked the Islamic Republic of Iran for supporting the Venezuelan government and people and emphasized: "Iran-Venezuela's energy cooperation, in addition to uniting the two countries as members of OPEC, is the scientific exchange and the development of oil production based."
In recent days, Venezuelan users have praised the Spanish hashtag #GraciasIran, meaning "thank you Iran," on Twitter, and applauded the Tehran-Caracas cooperation in the face of the US naval blockade.
In recent months, the United States has sought to overthrow and downsize Venezuela's legitimate government, which has an anti-American approach, by threatening, imposing sanctions, pressure, and economic blockade.
Many countries, including Iran, Russia, and China, have condemned the US move, stressing the need to respect Venezuela's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The Oil Tanker Tracking Center announced in a Twitter message that the first ship containing Iranian fuel has anchored at Venezuela's El Palito refinery.
The Tancer Trackers tracking centre wrote in a Twitter message: "Iranian oil/chem Handymax tanker, FORTUNE, which loaded 43 million litres of gasoline during mid-March at Port Shahid Rajaee, Iran, has now moored at berth 2 at the refinery of El Palito, Venezuela, situated west of the capital city, Caracas."
In a part of his conversation with the Emir of Qatar, President Hassan Rouhani emphasized that the security of the region is very important for us, saying, "Due to some US actions in different parts of the world, it has created impermissible conditions, but Iran never initiate escalation of tensions and conflict".
Referring to the Americans' actions in the Caribbean President Rouhani said: "If Iranian tankers in the Caribbean or anywhere in the world face any tangles caused by the Americans, they will get a response."
Emphasizing Iran will never be the initiator of any conflict, the President added, "We have always considered the legitimate right to defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity and to serve our national interests, and we hope that the Americans will not make a mistake".
Rouhani highlighted, "We see the current situation in the world as a special condition for joint cooperation, especially with the spread of this disease, but unfortunately, the US continues its wrongdoings and inhumane behaviour".
"As in the past, we emphasize that the security of our region, especially maritime security in the region, is provided by regional countries and we have always stated our readiness for more cooperation with our neighbours," he said.