Iranian Ships Stranded in Brazil Start Refueling Following Court Order
By Staff, Agencies
Two Iranian grain vessels stranded in the Brazilian port of Paranagua have begun refueling following a Brazilian court order compelling the state oil company of Petrobras to provide fuel the ships.
An unnamed official informed on the matter told Iran's state news agency IRNA on Saturday that the “Bavand” and “Termeh” vessels, which had brought urea to Brazil, had begun refueling today.
The Iranian vessels had been stranded for weeks at the Brazilian port of Paranagua, unable to head back to Iran due to lack of fuel.
On Thursday, however, Brazil’s highest judicial authority ordered Petrobras to refuel the two Iranian ships, overturning an injunction that had authorized the oil firm to withhold the service.
Petrobras had earlier refused to refuel the ships saying that they had appeared on a list of US sanctions. The company argued that other fuel companies could supply the Iranian ships, despite the fact that it has an effective monopoly on refueling services at Brazilian ports.
The court order came a few days after Iran asked Brazil to allow refueling the ships or have Tehran cancel imports worth about $2 billion a year from the Latin American country.
Brasilia and Tehran have long enjoyed a good history of political and economic relations.
Brazil has emerged as a new destination for petrochemical shipments from Iran which is tapping new markets to compensate for sliding oil sales. Iran is also one of the largest grain importers from Brazil.