Why Should the U.S. Care about a renewed Iran-Venezuela Relationship?

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Earlier this Spring, an oil tanker from Iran arrived in Venezuela with a much-needed delivery, despite the fact that both nations are under US sanctions.  It was a signal of a strengthening relationship between two authoritarian regimes.  A spokeswoman for the US State Department criticized the move but stopped short of saying whether the US would attempt to block additional planned shipments.

The shipments continued, and by June, the world had its answer as the US put sanctions on five Iranian ship captains who delivered the oil.  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the ships delivered close to 1.5m barrels of gas and oil.  Pompeo also reiterated his support for Venezuela’s National Assembly and its interim president, Juan Guaido.

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