Two more Iranian ships may be stranded in Brazil as sanctions bite

By Marcelo Teixeira SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Two more Iranian bulk carriers that came to Brazil carrying urea and were expected to return home with corn could be left without enough fuel, as Brazilian state oil firm Petrobras refuses to provide them with bunker fuel due to U.S. sanctions. 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

Reuters July 20, 2019 05:11:39 IST
Two more Iranian ships may be stranded in Brazil as sanctions bite

Two more Iranian ships may be stranded in Brazil as sanctions bite

By Marcelo Teixeira

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Two more Iranian bulk carriers that came to Brazil carrying urea and were expected to return home with corn could be left without enough fuel, as Brazilian state oil firm Petrobras refuses to provide them with bunker fuel due to U.S. sanctions.

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 U.S. government. Petróleo Brasileiro SA , or Petrobras, has refused to sell the vessels fuel, citing the sanctions. If the sales were to go forward, Petrobras could suffer penalties due to its U.S. 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.

"The Iranian government is clearly taking a risk," said a shipping industry source, requesting anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue. "They sent all those ships here without knowing if they would be able to refuel and go back."

Despite statements from Petrobras saying that other companies could sell the fuel to the vessels, the industry source said the state firm has an effective monopoly on refueling services at Brazilian ports.

Daryabar had also brought urea to Brazil. It is not clear how the ship secured fuel to sail off. According to Refinitiv's Eikon ship tracking tool, the vessel is now near South Africa.

Petrobras reaffirmed its stance on Friday.

"The risk involved in contracts with sanctioned vessels is the responsibility of the exporting company, not of Petrobras," it said.

Friendship, the shipping agency assisting the Iranian vessels in Brazil, declined to give information regarding the fuel situation faced by MV Delruba and Ganj. It said it was not authorized by the ship owner, Iranian state company Sapid Shipping Co, to comment.

(Additional reporting by Marta Nogueira in Rio de Janeiro; Editing by Tom Brown)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.