The US national security community is monitoring two Iranian naval vessels whose ultimate destination may be Venezuela, Politico claimed.
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, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive subject.
US officials do not know for sure the destination of the Iranian ships, these officials said, but claim they may be ultimately headed for Venezuela.
Lawmakers privy to the most sensitive intelligence information were informed over the past few days that the US claimed that the Iranian ships may be heading toward Venezuela, but cautioned that the destination could change, according to a person briefed on the matter.
The mere presence of Iranian warships in America’s backyard would represent a challenge to US authority in the region.
Iranian media has said the 755-foot long Makran, which was commissioned this year, can serve as a platform for electronic warfare and special operations missions, and Iranian officials have pointed to the ship’s missile and weapons capabilities.
It is able to carry six to seven helicopters, as well as drones.