An earlier Politico report claimed that US national security officials were closely monitoring the movements of two Iranian naval vessels – a frigate and a former oil tanker, the Makran, – which were believed to be heading for venezuela.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry has responded to media reports about two Tehran-flagged warships believed to be heading for Venezuela, underscoring that the Islamic Republic is entitled to freedom of navigation.
The spokesman added:
The Foreign Ministry’s response was triggered by an earlier report that claimed, citing sources, that the US national security officials were monitoring two Iranian military vessels whose ultimate destination might be venezuela.
The Politico report claimed that an Iranian frigate and the Makran, a 755-foot long former oil tanker that was converted to a floating forward staging base vessel allegedly able to accommodate six to seven helicopters, as well as drones, had been southward bound along the east coast of Africa.
Makran, stated the report, could be used as a platform for electronic warfare and special operations missions.
The report added that if, indeed, Venezuela was the vessels’ destination, officials within the government of President Nicolás Maduro had already been advised against welcoming the Iranian warships.
The developments came as Iran and Venezuela – two pariah states struggling under US-imposed sanctions – forged closer cooperation over the past few years.
The United States slapped…