Third Iranian Tanker Enters Venezuelan Waters

Other two tankers have already docked, easing shortages

Venezuela’s gasoline shortages look like they’re going to be relieved, at least for now. The third of Iran’s three fuel tankers that were dispatched has entered Venezuelan waters this weekend, and the first two tankers have already docked and begun delivery.

Venezuela struggles to produce gasoline itself because of US sanctions. Venezuela’s own oil is incompatible with its refineries, so historically they’ve exported oil, and brought other oil back for refining. The US has virtually prevented this, and seized ships to try to stop Venezuela from keeping itself supplied.

Major shortages were reported across Venezuela lately, which is a problem across the country, but especially in the farming sector, where food production is quite a bit down from where it’s meant to be if all the vehicles were running.

The Iranian tanker flotilla is a chance to bolster Venezuelan ties, as the US won’t let Iran sell to anyone else, and won’t let Venezuela buy from anyone else, and each side has little to lose just trading gold for oil.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.