International sanctions are apparently hitting Iran in a sensitive spot – its dependence on imported gasoline.
According to a shipping document seen by a Reuters reporter, only three cargoes of gasoline reached Iran in July so far. Iran usually needs 11 to 13 cargoes of gasoline a month during the summer months, a Dubai-based trader said.
This drop in imports is the result of sanctions, which are causing ships carrying fuel to Iran to be diverted. The fuel was supplied by a Turkish refinery and by China.
Another cargo is expected to arrive from Venezuela – which remains one of Iran's steadfast friends, alongside Turkey and China.
Iran is a leading exporter of crude oil, but the paucity of adequate refining facilities means it has to import about 40 percent of its gasoline.
Israel's government has long advocated sanctions that would bite into Iran's gasoline imports.
An official from the National Iranian Oil Co. denied the reports that sanctions were causing his country hardship, saying that there was "no sign of difficulties," according t official IRNA news agency in Teheran. Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast said Monday that new sanctions imposed by the EU on Iran “only make the situation more complicated.”
Iranian companies and experts are able to handle oil and gas projects in the country by themselves, he said, whereas the sanctions were “futile attempts lacking legal basis.”
“The world is in dire need of reform,” he said, according to IRNA.