It may seem strange with the US parking warships off the Iranian coast as a matter of course, but US national security officials are watching with serious concern as a pair of Iranian warships have neared the African coast, sparking speculation that they conceivably might wind up in the Western Hemisphere.
The two ships – a frigate and an old oil tanker that was converted to a staging base, are still off Africa’s east coast. The supposition of them going south is that they’ll eventually loop around Africa and then maybe cross the Atlantic. From there, it’s possible they’d show up in Venezuela.
This leads to intense US monitoring of the two otherwise insignificant ships, and a formal warning to Venezuela that they’d better not welcome the Iranian ships that are currently nowhere near Venezuela, if at some point they come by.
The warning likely means little to Venezuela, as years of US hostility to Venezuela and Iran has led the two nations to have something of a working relationship. It isn’t clear why Iran would send two ships to Venezuela, but if they did it’s likely they’ll be allowed to dock.