Petroleum Minister Bijan Zangeneh says the Iranian gasoline delivered to fuel-starved Venezuela last month was sold to Caracas at market price.

Source

June 26, 2020

GASOLINE

Zangeneh made the comments on Friday in reaction to allegations that Iran has provided Venezuela with gasoline free of charge.

“This is not true. Iran’s gasoline was sold to Venezuela at market price,” he said.

He said Tehran had received sufficient guarantees for the return of its revenues, and part of the money has already been received.

Regarding the continuation of energy trade with Venezuela, the petroleum minister said, “We should wait and see how negotiations between the two countries will proceed.”

Last month, five Iranian oil tankers set off for the Caribbean and delivered about 1.5 million barrels of gasoline to Venezuela which is under US sanctions and virtual economic siege.

In case of an agreement between Tehran and Caracas, Iran is to follow its trailblazing shipment of fuel to Venezuela with regular gasoline sales despite US threats to punish any facilitation of the cargoes.

Bloomberg said this month the US government has decided to avoid a military confrontation and instead prepared sanctions on as many as 50 oil and fuel tankers as part of an effort to cut off trade between Iran and Venezuela.

“The sanctions would be imposed through the Treasury Department and are intended to avoid a US military confrontation with the countries,” the leading financial news provider said, citing a person familiar with the matter.

However, both Venezuela and Iran have shown they are more than willing to cooperate in defiance of the US threats. According to the Washington Post, Venezuela and Iran have “just proved” that the Trump administration’s sanctions are failing.

“By showing that they were able to trade to mutual benefit”, Iran and Venezuela “not only successfully circumvented US sanctions; they also scored public relations points in the process,” the paper wrote last month.

Source: Iranian Agencies

U.S. targets Iran-Venezuela trade, tanker market suffers a blow

Source

BY: Ebrahim Fallahi

TEHRAN – The Trump administration is considering new sanctions on reportedly 50 oil tankers for working with Venezuela, in order to prevent the trade between Iran and the Latin American country.

Earlier this week, a U.S. official told Bloomberg that the sanctions were intended to avoid a U.S. military confrontation with other countries (indicating Iran and Venezuela).

Despite their anti-conflict claims, the Trump administration is, in fact, trying to block Iran’s support for Venezuelan people who are struggling with severe fuel shortages amid their country’s economic stagnation.

Furthermore, the U.S. actions are impacting the whole global market which is already wrestling with the pandemic.

This weekend, Reuters reported that the global tanker market is getting worried over the news of the U.S. sanctions and many market analysts believe that if the U.S. goes through A bruised ego

As mentioned earlier, the reason for the U.S.’s recent decision could be seen as getting back to Iran who had recently landed a heavy hit on the Trump Administration’s ego by sending five fuel loaded vessels to Venezuela before the eyes of the U.S navy.

The vessels delivered a total of 1.53 million barrels of gasoline and other oil products to the fuel-hungry Venezuelans in May.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of the Treasury sanctioned four shipping companies and their crude tankers for continuing to facilitate oil trading with Venezuela.

The tension between Washington and Tehran has been escalating since 2018 when U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal and re-imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Venezuela

The Latin American country used to have the cheapest gasoline in the world and supplied fuel with subsidized prices for two decades, however, following the U.S. sanctions almost all of the country’s refineries shut down due to the lack of equipment and prepare maintenance.

The Venezuelan government has been forced to implement a rationing system and raise gasoline prices in recent months, while the gas stations in the country are currently under military control.

As a result, a black market is formed in which every liter of gasoline is sold for at least two dollars, and people have to wait for hours in long lines to get gas; people are the main victims of U.S.’s disruptive actions.

Washington is targeting people by blocking foreign revenues that could be used to import humanitarian goods, including food and medicine, Venezuela’s Foreign Minister, Jorge Ariazza said on Tuesday.

Iran-Venezuela trade

Iran has repeatedly reported that it is Iran and Venezuela’s legal right to be able to trade with each other and no country can impede the economic transactions between the two countries which are both sanctioned by the U.S.

Iran also complained to the United Nations and summoned the Swiss ambassador in Tehran, who represents U.S. interests in the Islamic Republic, over possible measures Washington could take against the Iranian tankers.

Later on, in response to the U.S threats for military actions, Iran’s foreign ministry said that any U.S. attempt to halt trade with Venezuela would face an immediate and decisive response.

Regarding the recent sanctions, if the Islamic Republic decides to continue trade with Venezuela it would use vessels belonging to its own shipping line most of which are already sanctioned by the U.S., so the new sanctions, despite their negative impacts on Venezuela’s global trade, would not have a huge effect on the trade between Iran and its Latin American ally.

EF/MA

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