Oil tankers seized by US 'not Iranian'

TEHRAN, Aug. 18 (MNA) – Iranian oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Tuesday that the four oil tankers seized by the US few days ago belong to Venezuela not Iran.

"Neither the ships nor the cargoes belong to Iran, rather, these cargoes include gasoline sold by Iran to Venezuela,” Zanganeh said.

"America is looking for a victory for itself," he noted.

"The oil tankers were carrying Iranian fuel sold F.O.B Persian Gulf to Venezuela," the minister added.

In a statement on Friday August 14, the US Justice Department claimed it has seized Iranian fuel from four tankers that was bound for Venezuela. 

However, an informed Iranian source has told Press TV that the report that the US has seized Iranian fuel cargoes aboard ships bound for Venezuela is false.

The informed source explained on Friday that the fuel shipments in question had already been purchased and paid for and that neither the vessels carrying them nor the shipments themselves were related to Iran.

The Wall Street Journal had on Thursday August 15 cited US officials as saying that the U.S. government had for the first time seized vessels allegedly carrying Iranian gasoline to Venezuela. It said the US had recently seized four vessels, called Luna, Pandi, Bering, and Bella, on the high seas and they were being transferred to Houston, Texas.

On the same day, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that hollow propaganda does not deflect from the miserable failure of US diplomatic malpractice at UN.

In a tweet on Saturday, Zarif referred to a claim made by the US regarding the seizure of Iranian fuel and wrote, “Pirates of the Caribbean have their own judges and courts now. Sadly for them, stolen booty wasn't Iran's. Fuel was sold F.O.B. Persian Gulf. Ship and flag weren't ours either. Hollow, cheap propaganda doesn’t deflect from the miserable failure of US diplomatic malpractice at UN.”

Also, Iranian ambassador to Venezuela dismissed the reports of US’ seizure of Venezuela-bound Iranian fuel as a ‘lie’ and continuation of ‘psychological war’ against Iran.

HJ/5001825

News Code 162436

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