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First Iranian Tanker Docks At Venezuelan Refinery, Second Tanker Approaching


Satellite image from TankerTrackers.com showing arrival of the Iranian tanker.

An Iranian tanker carrying 43 million liters (11.3 million gallolns) of gasoline to fuel-starved Venezuela has arrived at El Palito, Venezuela, TankerTrackers reported on Monday.

In a tweet on Monday morning TankerTrackers.com said Fortune which loaded 43 million liters of gasoline in mid-March at Shahid Rajaee Port in the Persian Gulf had docked at the refinery of El Palito, Venezuela, in the west of the capital city Caracas. The shipment can fill around one-third of cars in the country.

TankerTrackers.com is an independent online service that tracks and reports shipments and storage of crude oil in various geographical and geopolitical points of interest.

Satellite images show the Iranian tanker docking at the refinery. Forest, the next tanker approaching, arrived in the Caribean Sea on Saturday.

Venezuela had said its navy and air force would escort the tankers after Tehran warned of "consequences" if the U.S. stopped the ships from reaching their destination.

Fortune is the first of the five Iranian tankers carrying a total of 1.5 million barrels of gasoline and alkylate from Iran to Venezuela to relieve the chronic shortage of gasoline in the country. It arrived in Venezuelan waters on Sunday.

Iran and its Latin American allies consider the success of the shipment of gasoline to Venezuela an achievement against U.S. sanctions. The United States has imposed oil export sanctions on both countries.

On Sunday Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro thanked Iran. "The end of Ramadan brings us the arrival of the FORTUNE ship, a sign of the solidarity of the Islamic people of Iran with Venezuela. In times where the supremacist empire seeks to impose its rule by force, only the brotherhood of free peoples will save us," he tweeted on Sunday.

In a tweet on Sunday Cuban President Míguel Diaz-Canel Bermúdez also welcomed Iran's move and said the arrival of the first of the Iranian oil tankers broke the "unacceptable and criminal blockade" of the country.

Venezuelan authorities have said that the remaining ships in the fleet – the Forest, Petunia, Faxon and Clavel – are scheduled to arrive in the Latin American country in the next few days.

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    Maryam Sinaiee

    Maryam Sinaiee is a British-Iranian journalist, political analyst and former correspondent of The National, who contributes to Radio Farda.

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