Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh compared the U.S. to the “Pirates of the Caribbean” after the United States announced it seized and sold Iranian crude oil intended for Venezuela.
“The Pirates of the Caribbean openly boasting about their booty,” Khatibzadeh tweeted. “No one civilized brags [about] stealing.”
Iranian officials claim the oil did not originate in Iran.
Under the tweet, Khatibzadeh crossed out the word ‘Iran’ in a screenshot of a France24 report titled ‘U.S. sells oil seized from Iran to Venezuela for $40 million.’
“Only, as we said before: it wasn’t ours. But [somebody] else’s oil has certainly been stolen,” wrote Khatibzadeh.
The U.S. Justice Department released a forfeiture complaint Thursday that alleged the fuel shipments to Venezuela did in fact originate from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The U.S. has seized and sold 1.1 million barrels of Iranian oil on its way to Venezuela, according to the Justice Department report.
The seizure of Iranian crude oil is another effort by the Trump Administration to maintain pressure on the Iranian regime.
“Iran continues to be a leading state sponsor of terrorism and a worldwide destabilizing force. It is with great satisfaction that I can announce our intentions are to take the funds successfully forfeited from the fuel sales and provide them to the United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund after the conclusion of the case,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demurs.
The Justice Department also announced that the U.S. intercepted two shipments of Iranian missiles on their way to militants in Yemen.
“This investigation sends a message that the attempted circumvention of U.S. sanctions and the avoidance of export conventions will not be tolerated,” said Executive Associate Director of Homeland Security Derek Benner.