Two Iranian ships on US radar

The sources said the American officials were not sure of the destination of the Iranian naval vessels, but they believe “they may be ultimately headed for Venezuela.”…reports Asian Lite News

US national security officials are reportedly monitoring two Iranian ships which are believed to be headed to Venezuela, according to a news report.

The Politico, citing three people familiar with the matter, said “an Iranian frigate and the Makran, a former oil tanker that was converted to a floating forward staging base, have been heading south along the east coast of Africa.”

The newspaper said the move could be perceived as “provocative” amid tense US-Iranian relations, the Arab News reported.

The sources said the American officials were not sure of the destination of the Iranian naval vessels, but they believe “they may be ultimately headed for Venezuela.”

Three weeks ago, a US Coast Guard ship had fired warning shots during a close encounter with vessels belonging to the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) in the Strait of Hormuz.

Six US Navy vessels escorting the USS Georgia, a guided missile submarine, encountered 13 IRGCN fast attack boats while transiting through the Strait of Hormuz.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the Iranian boats approached the US formation at high speed, closing in as close as 150 yards (about 137 metres).

The US Coast Guard Cutter Maui fired about 30 warning shots from a machine gun before the Iranian boats left, Kirby added.

That was the second such encounter in two weeks.

In April, a US Navy patrol ship fired warning shots as IRGCN vessels approached to an “unnecessarily close range” in international waters of the northern Persian Gulf.

The incident came days after the US Navy seized an illicit shipment of weapons, including thousands of small arms and dozens of anti-tank guided missiles, from a stateless dhow in the North Arabian Sea.

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