Don’t Touch: American Media Explains Why US Can’t Act Against Iranian Warships in Atlantic


The Iranian military earlier confirmed that two of the country’s warships entered the Atlantic Ocean. Tehran neither elaborated on their mission nor commented on media reports suggesting that the vessels are carrying arms for Venezuela.

Despite there being sanctions to prohibit arms trade with Venezuela, the US lacks the legal right to “touch” or act in any other way against two Iranian warships reportedly bound for Caracas, the American journal Foreign Policy has stated in an analysis piece. The FP stressed that, under the existing international laws (recognised by the US), Washington lacks legal options to do anything about the Iranian vessels, which, according to a Politico report, might be carrying weapons to Venezuela.

The media outlet noted that the US will only be able to act if these ships present an immediate danger to the country, because these vessels possess sovereign immunity. They can even sail into American waters if their intentions are innocent, although Washington can easily order them to leave and act if the Iranians won’t listen.

The FP added that even the fact that Washington imposed extraterritorial sanctions against Caracas doesn’t change the legal status of the two Iranian warships, which recently entered the Atlantic Ocean, unless they carry weapons of mass destruction or fall into one of the other exceptional categories.

This fact, however, doesn’t stop American politicians from calling for action against Tehran’s ships. US…

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