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article imageOne of three Iranian tankers with fuel reaches Venezuelan waters

By Ken Hanly     Sep 29, 2020 in Politics
Three Iranian tanker ships loaded with hundreds of thousands of barrels of fuel have now entered Venezuelan territorial waters. Within the next few days they will make deliveries.
Iranian general, Yahya Safavi has confirmed that Venezuela paid for the shipment in gold, that has already been returned to Iran.
A recent report
notes: "The Iranian tanker Forest entered Venezuelan waters early on Monday, according to tanker-tracker data collected by Bloomberg. It’s heading to El Palito refinery port, said union leader Ivan Freites. It’s one of three vessels bringing hundreds of thousands of barrels of the fuel."
Fuel sales to Venezuela violate US sanctions
Both fuel sales to Venezuela and purchases of fuel from Iran are against US sanctions. However, these sanctions strictly apply only to US firms involved in such transactions. The US uses it military and financial power as threats to force other countries to refrain from sales to Venezuela or purchases from Iran. Some countries will not be intimidated including both Venezuela and Iran.
The US has seized some fuel cargoes from ships it believed were bound for Venezuela creating considerable turmoil and conflicting statements.
A recent article notes: "
One tanker of gasoline believed to be en route to Venezuela, the Alkimos, arrived in the US today, where its fuel will be seized and sold at auction. The ship was chartered by Panama’s Sea Energy, who deny that the fuel was ever going to Venezuela, and claim that it was bound for Aruba."
However, in this case as in at least one other, the tankers bound for Venezuela appear to be sailing through to Venezuela without any US intervention.
Fuel shipments are vital for Venezuela
The shipments of gasoline are becoming more and more vital for Venezuela. The state-run oil company produces oil that is not of the required purity for its own refineries to use. Venezuela in the past exported its oil while importing more purified oil for its own refineries. However, countries providing the oil fear punishment from the US should they carry on with such export sales in violation of US unilaterally imposed sanctions, so the US has in effect cut down such sales.
The Venezuelan farm sector is one area that fuel shortages have caused much reduced farm yields. Supplies of fuel from Iran have allowed the Venezuelan economy to limp along even as the US tries to limit trade even further to tighten the screws on Venezuela and encourage regime change.
More about Iran Venezuelan relations, US santions on Iran and Venezuela, Iranian exports to Venezuela
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