The US on Wednesday imposed sanctions on five Iranian ship captains who delivered oil to Venezuela, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo informed speaking at a news conference.
According to Pompeo as quoted by Reuters, the ships delivered about 1.5 million barrels of Iranian gasoline and related components.
On this occasion, Mr. Pompeo reiterated Washington’s backing for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido and warned mariners against doing business with the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
As a result of today’s sanctions, these captains’ assets will be blocked. Their careers and prospects will suffer from this designation,
…Pompeo said in a statement later.
These remarks came as the US administration is seeking to block Iran’s energy trade and also bring down Maduro. The US has repeatedly warned shipping companies and insurers against assisting these tankers.
Venezuela’s exports are hovering near their lowest levels in more than 70 years and the OPEC member’s economy has collapsed, Reuters reported.
Yet Maduro has held on, frustrating the Trump administration.