Iran Willing To Continue Fuel Shipments To Venezuela If Asked

Daniel Fowler
June 2, 2020

Speaking to reporters at a press conference on Monday, Seyed Abbas Mousavi dismissed United States attempts to hamper Iran's trade exchanges with other countries, such as Washington's recent threat to obstruct the delivery of Iranian fuel to Venezuela.

He spoke after five Iranian tankers carrying fuel and oil refinery equipment arrived in Venezuela last week.

The Islamic Republic "practices its free trade rights with Venezuela, and we are ready to send more ships if Caracas demands more supplies from Iran", Abbas Mousavi, representative for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, informed press reporters on Monday. The shipment is available in defiance of the challenging United States permissions that both countries are encountering.

Washington has threatened to take action against the Venezuela-bound fuel tankers, including blacklisting the crew and the tankers. It has warned governments, seaports, shippers and insurers that they could face measures if they aid the tankers.

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Last week, Mr Maduro said he was considering whether to raise the price of petrol in Venezuela, where it now costs less than one USA cent a gallon (about 4 fils per litre). After three months of fuel rationing, Venezuelans began lining up on Saturday to wait for the Iranian gasoline to be sold at stations from Monday under a new system combining subsidies and internationally-indexed prices.

The tanker flotilla reportedly carried about 1.53 million barrels of gasoline and alkylate to Venezuela.

The fuel from Iran comes at a time when the gasoline shortage in Venezuela, chronic for years in some parts of the country, worsened during the coronavirus pandemic.

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