TEHRAN – Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh says the recent gasoline cargoes sent to Venezuela were sold at the market price to the country and were not for free, IRNA reported.
They paid a fair price and provided the necessary guarantees for the future payment, he said, adding that a part of the money has already been received.Some think that Iran gave the gasoline to the South American country for free, which is untrue; what we are doing is commercial, not charity, he added.
Reacting to the U.S. sanctions on the Iranian captains who took the gasoline to Venezuela, Zanganeh said it was not unexpected; first, they tried to bribe them, but they refused their offer. Then they threatened and sanctioned them. The oil minister further noted that the continuation of the exports to Venezuela depends on the negotiations between the two countries.
Recently, five Iranian oil tankers docked at Venezuela’s port after passing the Caribbean Sea to help the friendly nation of Venezuela deal with a shortage of fuel was caused after the U.S. unilateral sanctions against the country.
The Iranian shipment comprised of 1.53 million barrels of gasoline and alkylate to help jump-start the oil refineries in the Latin American state of Venezuela amid a fuel crisis.The Venezuelan oil industry is targeted by severe U.S. sanctions and the country’s refineries are mostly shut down due to maintenance problems.
The Latin American country is still in desperate need of gasoline and other refined products to keep the country afloat amid the economic collapse resulted from the U.S. sanctions.
Venezuela’s state-owned PDV is now working to repair its main oil refineries, with help from Iran and China, to help replenish the domestic market as the Iranian supply starts to run out.