DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Five Iranian tankers likely carrying at least $45.5 million worth of gasoline and similar products are now sailing to Venezuela.

It's part of a wider deal between the two U.S.-sanctioned nations amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington.

The tankers’ voyage come after Venezuela’s socialist leader Nicolás Maduro already turned to Iran for help in flying in chemicals needed at an aging refinery amid a gasoline shortage.

For Iran, the tankers represent a way to bring money into its cash-starved Shiite theocracy and putting its own pressure on the U.S.

But the strategy invites the chance of a renewed confrontation between the Islamic Republic and America.

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