US officials: Iranian ships changing course away from Venezuela

US officials: Iranian ships changing course away from Venezuela
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Iranian ships that were believed to be on course for Venezuela to deliver weapons have changed course, U.S. officials told Politico

The defense official speculates that ships could be headed toward the Mediterranean to Syria, or to Russia. 

State Department spokesperson Ned Price said he has seen Politico’s report, but will not speculate on the destination of the ships. 

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The U.S. officials told the news outlet that change in plans could a result of the Biden administration urging Venezuela to turn away the ships

Defense Secretary Lloyd AustinLloyd AustinOvernight Defense: Biden says US combat mission in Iraq wrapping by year's end | Civilian casualties in Afghanistan peak amid US exit | VA mandates COVID-19 vaccine for health workers Biden, Iraqi prime minister to announce end of US combat mission in Iraq Top US general won't rule out airstrikes against Taliban after withdrawal MORE said last week he was “concerned” about the ships that were believed to be carrying weapons to Venezuela.

“The precedent of allowing Iran to provide weapons to the region causes me great concern,” Austin said.

The two ships, destroyer Sahand and intelligence-gathering vessel Makran, were celebrated by Iran when they reached the Atlantic Ocean. The government said the voyage showed Iran’s increased military capabilities. 

However, the country did not specify the destination of the ships.

Price said the U.S. is ready to apply sanctions and other actions against those who engage in a weapons exchange with Iran. 

The comes as the U.S. and Iran are renegotiating the Iran nuclear deal after former President TrumpDonald TrumpCuban embassy in Paris attacked by gasoline bombs Trump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios Trump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race MORE pulled the U.S. out of it during his tenure.