Report: Iran builds oil tanker for Venezuela

July 24, 2012 - 12:37 PM

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's official news agency is reporting the country has finished building an oil tanker for Venezuela, a key ally.

The IRNA report says the project means Iran has joined countries with capability of building oil tankers.

It comes as Iran considers building nuclear-powered freighters and oil tankers. That could provide a reason to increase the level of its uranium enrichment for fuel. The West suspects Iran is aiming at building nuclear weapons. Iran denies that.

The Tuesday report says the new tanker is 250 meters long, 44 meters wide and weighs 21,000 tons. It can carry 750,000 barrels of oil at a speed of up to 16 knots.

This is the first of four ships ordered by Venezuela. It was built in 24 months.