Iranian ships that appeared headed for Venezuela are now in Baltic Sea approaching Russia

Iranian ships that appeared headed for Venezuela are now in Baltic Sea approaching Russia

(CNN)Two Iranian ships that once appeared to be headed to Venezuela are now in the Baltic Sea approaching the Russian city of St. Petersburg, according to MarineTraffic, a website that tracks ships. The position of the ships, including the floating military base called the Makran, indicate they are likely headed to St. Petersburg to participate in Russia's Navy Day events, according to two defense officials familiar with the ships' movements. The Pentagon has been monitoring the ships for about two months as they rounded the southern tip of Africa and appeared set to cross the Atlantic for Venezuela. Pentagon officials were concerned about the potential introduction of Iranian weapons into the Western Hemisphere and the possible transfer of weapons to Venezuela. In mid-June, the ships, which were then off the coast of West Africa, began to inch north instead of across the Atlantic. Venezuela's decision to turn away the Iranian ships came after the US applied diplomatic pressure on Caracas and the regime of Nicolas Maduro, two officials said at the time. The US also applied diplomatic pressure to other …
More on: www.cnn.com