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The New Arab Staff

More Iranian fuel tankers head to petrol-starved Venezuela, defying US sanctions

Venezuela has seen critical petrol shortages [Getty]

Date of publication: 29 September, 2020

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Iran has sent oil to Venezuela, angering the US.
Iran has sent another consignment of fuel to Venezuela by sea, despite both countries being under strict US sanctions, Reuters reported.

Three tankers laden with Iranian fuel were heading for Venezuela on Monday, amid an exchange mechanism agreed between the two countries.

Although the South American country is a major oil producer itself, it is suffering from major petrol shortages, and the two countries have been trading in food, petrol, industrial equipment and refinery technology, in exchange for Venezuelan gold.

The Iranian-flagged tanker Forest, carrying 270,000 barrels of fuel, entered Venezuelan waters on Monday, heading for the state-run El Palito port, according to data the agency gathered from Refinitiv Eikon. Two more Iranian tankers are following the Forest, and are set to arrive in South America early October, the three vessels carrying a total of 820,000 barrels of fuel.

Iran made several deliveries of fuel to Venezuela during the summer, despite both countries being under US sanctions.

Washington seized one fuel consignment from Iran in July, which will be auctioned off and the proceeds going to the US Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund.

Venezuela Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said Iran had overcome "unilateral punitive measures" against it, as relations between the two countries strengthen.

Yahya Rahim-Safavi, a former Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps commander, said on Sunday that Tehran had helped "every Muslim and non-Muslim country" that seeks its assistance.

"(The Venezuelans) have stood up to the Americans, and we are helping them, giving them software and giving them ideas, such as how to mobilise the people and how to repel cyberattacks," he said.
Despite having the biggest oil reserves in the world, Venezuela has been hit by massive fuel and food shortages.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was re-elected in 2018 in a vote that was widely seen as unfair by many observers.

Iran has faced its own tough US sanctions, after Donald Trump pulled Washington out of a nuclear deal with Tehran in 2018.

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