The Trump administration has successfully seized Iranian fuel from four tankers sailing to Venezuela, increasing their “maximum pressure campaign” against Tehran, a senior U.S. official confirmed for Fox News on Thursday evening.
Iran and Venezuela have tried to outmaneuver sanctions that the U.S. has placed on both countries by forming an oil partnership.
The confiscated cargo, first reported by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, was a direct violation of U.S. sanctions. A senior official clarified that the tankers were not seized but the oil is now in U.S. possession.
Federal prosecutors reportedly filed a forfeiture complaint and warrant in Washington, D.C. alleging that all “petroleum products” aboard the four vessels referred to as the Bella, the Bering, the Pandi and the Luna were a “source of influence” for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a branch in the Iranian armed forces.
The U.S. has designated the Guard a terrorist organization and therefore claimed that the sale of oil from Iran to Venezuela financially sponsors the The Guard and their militant actions. (Read more from “‘Maximum Pressure Campaign’: U.S. Confiscates Iranian Fuel From Four Tankers” HERE)