Venezuela to escort Iranian tankers bringing needed fuel |

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela’s defense minister said Wednesday that planes and ships from the nation’s armed forces will escort Iranian tankers arriving with fuel to the gasoline-starved country in case of any U.S. aggression.

Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López said Venezuela’s navy and air force will welcome the five Iranian tankers, seeing them through the nation’s maritime territory and into port. He compared the fuel tankers to humanitarian aid that China and Russia have sent to help Venezuela combat the new coronavirus pandemic.

A force of U.S. vessels, including Navy destroyers and other combat ships, patrol the Caribbean on what U.S. officials call a drug interdiction mission. Venezuelan officials paint them as a threat, but U.S. officials have not announced any plans to intercept the Iranian tankers, or threatened to try that. Both countries have been hit with U.S. economic sanctions.

Venezuela’s ambassador to the United Nations, Samuel…

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