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Defying US sanctions, Iran tanker on route to deliver fuel to Venezuela

May 14, 2020 at 2:41 pm

An Iranian oil tanker, 17 July 2019 [Nachoman-au/Wikipedia]

A fuel tanker loaded at the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas is making its way to Venezuela, according to vessel tracking data issued by Refinitiv Icon, in defiance of the US-imposed sanctions on both countries, including on their respective oil industries. Venezuela, which is already in a crisis, is currently suffering from a shortage of gasoline.

The Iranian-flagged tanker “Clafel” reportedly crossed the Suez Canal yesterday, having been loaded with fuel in Iran at the end of March.

READ: Reuters survey: OPEC oil output near record high in April

The Venezuelan-owned PDVSA oil company and the country’s Ministry of Oil did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment, nor has the US State Department.

Haaretz also reports that four other vessels of the same size, each flagged by Iran and originating from the same port, are due to cross the Atlantic Ocean, with their final destinations not established.

Two weeks ago Iran made a similar shipment to Syria, which is also under sanctions, allegedly providing the war-torn country up to 6.8 million barrels of oil, according to the Middle East Economic Survey.