Foreign Policy
Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:3
Iran Likely to Continue Gasoline Exports to Venezuela
TEHRAN (FNA)- Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh said that Iran may export more gasoline to Venezuela depending on talks between Tehran and Caracas.

Zangeneh said that the US sanctions against the captains of Iranian tankers were not unexpected.

“First, they (Americans) tried to bribe them, but they rejected their offer,” he reiterated, adding, “Then they threatened and sanctioned them.”  

Zangeneh noted that some think Iran gave gasoline to the Latin American country free of charge, which is false.

Iran has sold gasoline to Venezuela at market price, a part of which has been received, the minister further said, and stressed that they paid a fair price and provided the necessary guarantees for the payment.

Recently, Iranian oil tankers docked at Venezuela's port after passing the Caribbean Sea to help the friendly nation of Venezuela deal with shortage of fuel caused by the US sanctions against the country.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro thanked Iranian support, stressing that Caracas and Tehran are both after peace, and have right to do free trade.

Earlier in the month, five Iranian oil tankers carrying millions of barrels of gasoline and components entered the ports of the fuel-starved South American country and are now on their way back to Iran.

Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani noted that the return of his country’s fuel tankers from Venezuela, and said the fools who were after besieging Tehran now feel overpowered by Tehran.

“Iranian tankers, having accomplished their mission successfully, are coming back to the country. This means that the strategy of active resistance has been efficient and the idiots who were seeking to lay siege on us, have now been trapped in the siege stemming from Iran’s might,” Shamkhani wrote in his Twitter account.

“Trump and Hook's begging for negotiation testifies to this very claim,” the top security official said.

Iran’s fuel supply to Venezuela has sharply irked the US as the oil sectors of both countries are subject to draconian American sanctions.

A US official said last month that President Donald Trump’s administration was considering responses, prompting Tehran to warn of retaliatory measures if Washington causes any problem for the tankers.

In response, President Rouhani said his country is always entitled to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and warned that if his country's oil tankers in the Caribbean or anywhere in the world get into trouble by the Americans, Tehran will definitely retaliate.

“Although some of the US measures have created unacceptable conditions in different parts of the world, we will not be the initiator of tension and clash,” Rouhani said in a phone call with the Qatari Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani last month.

Referring to the American moves in the Caribbean, he reiterated, “If our oil tankers face problems in the Caribbean Sea or anywhere in the world by the Americans, they will face problems reciprocally.”

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