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Fourth Iranian tanker carrying gasoline enters Venezuelan waters

The fourth tanker of a five-vessel Iranian flotilla carrying much-needed gasoline to Venezuela has entered Venezuelan waters, approaching its fuel-starved final destination.

The tanker, Faxon, will be escorted by the Venezuelan armed forces en route to its destination, as in the case of its three predecessors.

The data released by Refinitiv Eikon showed that the Faxon, the fourth in the five-tanker Iranian flotilla, was passing north of eastern Venezuela’s Sucre state as of 11:49 p.m. local time (0349 GMT) Wednesday night, Reuters reported.

The five-tanker Iranian-flagged flotilla is carrying up to 1.53 million barrels of gasoline and components to help the country ease an acute scarcity that has forced Venezuelans to wait for hours in lines at service stations.

As Foxon was navigating through the Caribbean Sea, the third vessel of the flotilla, the Petunia, was approaching El Palito refinery, where the first vessel, the Fortune, has been docked since Monday.

The second cargo, on the vessel Forest, has been discharging at the Cardon refinery since Tuesday, according to Refinitive Eikon data.

As the Iranian tankers deliver their cargos one by one, the Venezuelan government has started preparations to distribute the imported fuel among desperate citizens stranded in long gas station queues.

Venezuela has the world’s cheapest gasoline after over two decades of frozen prices at the pump, but insufficient distribution has created a black market where a liter is offered for at least $2.

This perhaps explains why the hashtag #GraciasIran (Thank You Iran) has become the number-one Twitter trend in Venezuela as Iranian tankers start delivering their cargos.

Upon the arrival of the Iranian tankers, Venezuelans stormed Twitter to express gratitude towards Tehran for the shipments.

The fifth and final Iranian vessel is also on its way through the Atlantic Ocean to deliver fuel to the country under US sanctions.

The shipments have stirred the wrath of the US administration in Washington as both Iran and Venezuela are under illegal sanctions imposed by the White House.

The administration of President Donald Trump, which has returned US sanctions against Iran after leaving a historic nuclear accord between the Islamic Republic and world powers, said earlier this month that it was considering “measures” to take in response to the shipments.

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