© Provided by the Associated Press
A worker tours the El Palito refinery on Monday, May 25, 2020 upon the arrival of the Iranian tanker Fortune, near Puerto Cabello, Venezuela. (AP Photo / Ernesto Vargas)
One of Iran’s cargo ships is expected to dock in Venezuela on Sunday with food to open the first Iranian supermarket in the South American nation, authorities in Tehran reported.
The delivery of the Golsan ship represents « another achievement in friendly and fraternal relations between two countries, » according to a tweet from the Iranian embassy in Caracas published a day earlier.
Iran and Venezuela have strengthened their ties and share their opposition to the government of President Donald Trump, which has applied harsh sanctions on them.
Tehran recently dispatched a fleet of five gasoline tankers to counter fuel shortages in Venezuela, resulting from refinery breakdowns and U.S. sanctions. Iran also provided Caracas with key ingredients necessary to revive those facilities and resume production of its own gasoline.
According to experts, in addition to food, the most recent shipment could also include equipment to help repair refineries.
« That ship can carry 23,000 tons, » said Russ Dallen, director of the Miami Capital-based investment firm Caracas Capital Markets, which tracked the ship’s activities. « That would be enough food for an entire chain of Iranian supermarkets across the country, not just one store. »