Iran prepared to send more oil to Venezuela despite U.S. 'threats'

Cheryl Sanders
June 1, 2020

"To the people: thank you for your comprehension, for your heroic resistance and for trusting President (Nicolas) Maduro's government", he said in a televised speech.

Speaking from Caracas, he said prices at these stations would be set at 50 United States cents (RM2.17) per litre.

Iran has sent five tankers of fuel to Venezuela, once South America's top oil producer, which is suffering from a gasoline shortage amid a ravaging economic crisis.

"This is a war, my dear fellow countrymen who listen to me, a brutal war", the Venezuelan president said in an address to the nation on Saturday, adding that the United States is "persecuting any company that brings a drop of gasoline to Venezuela".

Venezuelans have spent hours or even days in line for gasoline in some areas of the country as fuel shortages intensify in the past two months.

"Venezuela must charge global prices for gasoline sooner rather than later, to prevent it from being stolen from Colombia and the Caribbean", Maduro said.

Diesel, which is fundamental for industries and electricity power plants, will still be subsidized "100%", Oil Minister Tareck El Aissami said in the event with Maduro. "It should be done through planning and strategy".

Iran will continue fuel shipments to Venezuela if Caracas requests more supplies, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Monday, despite Washington's criticism of the trade between the two nations, which are both under USA sanctions.

The deliveries took place in the face of U.S. warnings of fresh sanctions on both Tehran and Caracas, which was preceded by White House officials stating that there were no operations planned to stop Iranian tankers which were en route to Venezuela. State-owned PDVSA is able to meet Venezuela's vehicle demand, he added.

After three months of fuel rationing, Venezuelans began lining up on Saturday to wait for the Iranian gasoline to be sold at stations from Monday under a new system combining subsidies and internationally-indexed prices.

Venezuela's refineries, which can produce more than 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) of fuel, have worked at less than 20% of their capacity in 2020 mainly due to power outages and lack of spare parts, caused by intense U.S. sanctions.

Other reports by iNewsToday