Report: Iranian ships on way to Venezuela

The Americans are closely monitoring an Iranian frigate and oil tanker converted into a helicopter carrier that were discovered off the west coast of Africa. The Iranian Foreign Ministry says Iran is entitled to the right to be present in international waters 

An Iranian warship in the Gulf of Oman last year. Photo: SalmanPix/ABACAPRESS.COM via REUTERS

American defense officials are closely monitoring two ships of the Iranian Navy, a frigate and a former oil tanker that was converted into a helicopter carrier, which are sailing from Iran in the direction of Venezuela.  

The Politico website reported that the former oil tanker, the Makran, is capable of carrying six to seven helicopters as well as drones on a special deck that was installed on it. The two ships were discovered sailing in the area of the western coast of Africa in the direction of Venezuela. Politico wrote that the converted and upgraded boat can be used as a platform for electronic warfare and special missions.   

Following the report, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said countries should not jump to conclusions. "I warn that nobody should make a miscalculation. Those who live in glass houses must be cautious," he said, adding that "Iran has constant presence in international waters, is entitled to this right on the basis of international law" and "no country can violate such a right."

According to the Politico report, Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro has been advised not to welcome the two Iranian Navy ships. 

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