1253 GMT July 14, 2020
"We haven't given charity gasoline to Venezuela. Gasoline exports to this country was under a commercial deal," Zanganeh said, IRNA reported.
According to the Oil Ministry's news service Shana, Zanganeh said on Saturday that the gasoline was sold at current prices, S&P Global reported.
"We sold gasoline to Venezuela at current price and part of its money is in the country right now," the oil minister said, adding that, "We had adequate guarantee that it will be paid for."
When asked about continuation of the exports to Venezuela considering the US sanctions on five tanker captains that shipped Iran's gasoline to Venezuela, Zanganeh said, "This was not an unexpected move. They [the US] had promised them [the captains] money. But they did not accept it. Then, they threatened and imposed sanctions. And they [the captains] were aware of it."
On June 24, a US executive order sanctioned five Iranian ship captains who delivered approximately 1.5 million barrels of Iranian gasoline and related components to Venezuela.
Zanganeh stressed that Iran will continue trade relations with Venezuela.
"For continuation of the exports, we should see how the negotiations between the two countries move forward," he added.
Recently, Iran sent five tankers loaded with 1.53 million barrels of gasoline and alkylate to Venezuela to help jump start the oil refineries there amid a fuel crisis.
All of the vessels – Fortune, Forest, Petunia, Faxon, and Clavel – reached Venezuela under military escort in defiance of draconian American sanctions targeting both Iran and Venezuela.
Iran’s fuel shipments drew the ire of the US. American officials said Washington was considering responses to Iran’s move, prompting Tehran to warn of retaliatory measures if the US causes any problem for the Venezuela-bound tankers.
The United States then threatened stiff sanctions against foreign governments, shipping firms, seaports, and insurers if they aid the Iranian tankers.
Iran also sent a cargo ship carrying foodstuff to Venezuela, the sixth vessel Tehran has sent to the sanctions-hit Latin American country over the past weeks.