Iran's former OPEC gov. urges countries under US embargo to form club

TEHRAN, May 23 (MNA) – Iran’s former ambassador to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Mohammad Ali Khatibi said it seems vital for countries sanctioned by the US to get united and establish a club of sanctioned countries to ease international trade among themselves.

"The increase in the number of countries sanctioned by the United States has provided a better capacity to create alternative solutions to supply demands," he said in an interview with Fars News Agency.

Khabtibi referred to a swap of goods for goods or for gold as a practical method for trade among sanctioned countries, saying that "sanctioned countries can get united to established an organized cooperation system against the US sanctions to supply a great number of their requirements."

"All the sanctioned companies, from different countries, can also join the club', he noted.

Iran's recent exports of gasoline to Venezuela can be an opportunity to form the 'sanctioned countries club', as he said.

Iran and Venezuela have always had their oil and gas ties and there are close relations between the two countries," he said referring to the time when Iran was in need of gasoline back in 2011 and Venezuela met its demand. 

He added that under the coronavirus pandemic Iran's domestic consumption of gasoline has decreased and the country can export its extra amount of the product to Venezuela.

"Exporting gasoline to Venezuela, in addition to strengthening political ties between the two countries, has brought good economic benefits to Iran," he noted.

Khatibi said it is Iran's legitimate right to export its gasoline to each applicant country via mutual agreements.

"Freedom of trade and commute of ships in international waterways is a natural right of Iran and no country can violate it," he underlined.

Khatibi added that Iran's exports of gasoline to Venezuela has transmitted a political message to the world, questioning US sanctions. 

"Trading goods is not a violation of international trade protocols or shipping treaties," he underlined, "Therefore, there is no need for Iran to hide its international trade."

The former OPEC official noted that Iran is now powerful enough to question US sanctions and threaten its enemies to give a harsh response to any probable aggression.

A flotilla of five tankers carrying Iranian fuel for gasoline-starved Venezuela is approaching the Caribbean, with the first vessel expected to reach the South American country's waters on Sunday, according to Refinitiv Eikon tracking data.

Iran is supplying about 1.53 million barrels of gasoline and alkylate to Venezuela, according to both governments, sources and calculations made by TankerTrackers.com based on the vessels' draft levels, Al-Jazeera reported on Saturday.

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News Code 159005

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