Two Iranian military Warships Head for the West, potentially Venezuela, mystifying the United States and observers.
Two Iranian warships may be heading for Venezuela, according to US security officials. According to Politico, an Iranian warship used formerly as an oil tanker, known as the Makran, and a frigate are reportedly travelling south along Africa’s east coast.
Intelligence authorities are baffled by Iran’s motives for the new move, and they have no idea what cargo they may be carrying. If the ships do wind up in Venezuela, though, it may be interpreted as an attempt by Iran to threaten the United States.
Politico said its attempts to reach out to the Iranian Mission to the United Nations, the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry, as well as White House and Pentagon officials failed to get a comment.
The Makran was commissioned in 2021. Tehran celebrated the warship’s military and armament capabilities in various reports and statements. The 755-foot long ship is capable of transporting six helicopters and more drones.
Washington has imposed harsh sanctions on both Iran and Venezuela. The two countries, thereupon, have grown closer partners in recent years.
During the past years, Iran has dispatched a number of gasoline tankers to Venezuela, which is suffering from severe fuel shortages. In turn, the Venezuelan government has provided Iran with much-needed funds as well as assistance throughout developing contacts in Latin America. Furthermore, Iran has invested on a vehicle assembly facility as well as a massive cement facility, to name a few, in Venezuela to the benefit of both sides.
Politico’s exclusive report, however, indicates that Venezuelan President has been informed that admission of Iranian military vessels would amount for consequences.
The Iranian boats’ deployment so near to the US – less than 1,500 miles – might hinder Joe Biden’s attempts to start talks with the Tehran.
Iran’s expanding military involvement in Venezuela was called “alarming” by senior commanders of US forces in the country’s so-called back-yard. The Iranian military forces were observed in the region in the past years. The US military officials advised the Biden administration to stop any sort of negotiations with Tehran unless the country stops its military adventure in the American region.
Since taking office, Biden has been attempting to re-start the negotiation process for the revival of nuclear deal with Tehran. His predecessor, Donald Trump, withdrew unilaterally from the 2015 agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear programme. The new round of discussions is still underway.
Tehran’s new move might be assessed on to levels. On the military aspect, it might be a signal for re-emphasizing the Iranian objection with US intense military presence in Persian Gulf during the past decades. The two sides have had multiple heated face-offs in Persian Gulf over the past years.
On the political level, considered more important currently, Iranian action might be considered a step to put more pressure on Biden administration to accelerate the process of negotiations and agreement in Vienna. Biden’s government, which is also under pressure of local politicians and parliament, might feel more pressed by military commanders.
Formerly, Iran has used other leverages like increasing the uranium enrichment level and implementing advanced centrifuges to force the new US administration for rejoining the JCPOA. Iran has also used regional actors in the Middle East like Houthis in Yemen and Militia in Iraq to push for more immediate moves by Washington. While Tehran’s former policies seem to have affected US strategies for Iran and the Middle East, the new military/security/political game might have more drastic consequences for the US. Iran is attempting the change the playground for the first time, choosing the American security back-yard. The US is still on Observation mode