US sanctions overshadowing Iran-Brazil trade ties: Report

TEHRAN, Jul. 21 (MNA) – The number of Iranian vessels stranded at Brazilian ports are increasing thanks to the US-led sanctions under which Brazilian state oil firm Petrobras refuses to supply bunker fuel for the Iranian vessels.

As reported in addition to Iranian vessels, Bavand and Termeh, now stand three of Iran’s bulk carriers, Daryabar, Delruba and Ganj, left with no fuel at the Brazilian ports.

Bavand and Termeh have been stuck for weeks at Brazilian ports due to lack of fuel, which state-run oil firm Petrobras refuses to sell them due to US sanctions.

The same has reportedly happened to two other Iranian carriers, Delruba and Ganj, which traveled to Brazil carrying urea and were expected to return Iran with corn but are left without enough fuel in Brazil.

Ship tracking data shows that Panamax-type vessels MV Delruba and Ganj, currently located near the Imbituba port in southern Brazil, were scheduled to run the same route as two other Iranian vessels, Bavand and Termeh, whose refueling problems Reuters reported on Thursday.

All four ships are owned by the Iranian government and are included in the sanctions imposed by the US government.

Petróleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, has refused to sell the vessels fuel, accordingly. If the sales were to go forward, Petrobras could suffer penalties due to its US operations, the company has said.

The four ships and a fifth one, the Daryabar, which managed to leave Brazil loaded with corn, are part of a new commercial route opened by the Iranian government, which is seeking new markets for its petrochemicals to compensate for lost oil sales, Reuters reported.

As a matter of fact, food is claimed to not have been covered by US sanctions, and Iran is one of the largest buyers of Brazil’s agricultural commodities. Not selling fuel to Daryabar, however, the Brazilian oil firm seems to be negligent about the fact.

Iran-Brazil trade ties have been always warm and the two sides, as announced by the Secretary of Iran-Brazil Chamber of Commerce Farhad Taherian, have been intended to increase their trade volume under the US sanctions and via swapping goods.

“Serious negotiations are underway between Iranian and Brazilian officials for swapping goods, while the issue is more of interest for the Brazilian side since Iran exports strategic goods including oil and petrochemicals to the country,” Taherian said.

“Despite difficulties that we face in our financial transactions under US sanctions, we are to start swapping goods,” he said.

“Iran exports 10 types of products comprising petrochemical products such as urea and bitumen to Brazil,” he said, “Our imports from Brazil include 12 types of various goods such as soybean oil, tobacco and ethanol.”

According to the data released by Department of Economic Diplomacy of Iranian Foreign Ministry, Iran-Brazil mutual trade in 2018 witnessed an 11-percent decrease year-on-year declining down to $2.307 billion from its previous $2.6 billion in 2017.

In 2018, Iran’s imports from the country stood at $2.267 billion, registering a drop of 12 percent compared to the preceding year, while exports to the country stepped down to $39 million, showing a fall of 2.3 percent, the same report confirmed.

This has come following US withdrawal from the JCPOA and reimposing new round of sanctions against Iran.

Iran-Brazil mutual trade figures could even go down under the imposed threat by US sanctions.

Brazilian officials are urged to rescue mutual commercial ties and not to let the US unilateralism to affect the good relation of the two countries. 

News Code 147888

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