Iran and Venezuela, two nations that have been shackled by Washington’s sanctions, have sought to deepen their decades-long relationship, with Iran’s shipments of gasoline to the struggling South American nation hailed by President Nicolás Maduro last year as an example of “the brotherhood of free peoples”.
US national security officials are reportedly closely monitoring the movements of two Iranian naval vessels which are believed to be heading for Venezuela, according to Politico.
A frigate and a former oil tanker, the Makran, converted to a floating forward staging base and commissioned this year, have been heading south along the east coast of Africa, the outlet cites sources as saying.
Iranian media reports suggest the 755-foot long Makran has been touted by the Islamic Republic’s officials as capable of offering a platform for electronic warfare and special operations missions due to its missile and weapons capabilities. The vessel can allegedly accommodate six to seven helicopters, as well as drones.
No information is readily available regarding either the cargo on board or the ultimate destination of the vessels.
However, officials within the government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro have purportedly already been advised against welcoming the Iranian warships, the report claims.
While a Thursday report cited US military officials as claiming the vessels had turned around, Friday morning data supplied by the sources suggested the Iranian ships…