Top officials in the Biden administration are working to stop two Iranian vessels headed for Venezuela and Cuba that are believed to be carrying arms, a report said Wednesday.
Senior officials are pushing Caracas and Havana through diplomatic channels to block the Iranian ships from docking, Politico first reported.
Government officials in surrounding nations have also reportedly been contacted to help prevent the transfer of arms.
Strict sanctions were placed on Venezuela and its oil industry under Donald Trump.
President Biden has yet to reverse the economic restrictions — though White House officials suggested he may be willing to soften the sanctions if the Nicolas Maduro regime seeks a resolution of its conflict with the opposition party.
But according to U.S. officials familiar with the discussions, the Venezuelan government is using the threat of an arms transfer to negotiate for sanction relief with the U.S., reported Politico.
The White House and State Department did not immediately return Fox News’ questions on the situation.
The U.S. seized oil from four Iranian tankers in August 2020 and has successfully disrupted oil deliveries over the last year by threatening increased sanctions.
The sanctions on Venezuela have prevented the country from being able to access oil supplies and have left the country desperate for petroleum sources.