Iran sends ships to Atlantic Ocean rumored to go to Venezuela

Iran sends ships to Atlantic Ocean rumored to go to Venezuela


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — An Iranian destroyer and support vessel are now sailing in the Atlantic Ocean in a rare mission far from the Islamic Republic, Iran’s state TV reported on Thursday, without offering the vessels’ final destination.

The trip by the new domestically built destroyer Sahand and the intelligence-gathering vessel Makran comes amid U.S. media reports, citing anonymous American officials, saying the ships were bound for Venezuela. The Associated Press could not immediately confirm the ships’ destination.

The vessels departed last month from Iran’s southern port of Bandar Abbas, said Adm. Habibollah Sayyari, Iran’s deputy army chief. He described their mission as the Iranian navy’s longest and most challenging voyage yet, without elaborating.

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Iranian state TV released a short clip of the destroyer cruising through the Atlantic’s rough seas. The video likely was shot from the Makran, a converted commercial oil tanker with a mobile launch platform for helicopters.

“The Navy is improving its seafaring capacity and

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