Iranian supertanker carrying condensate docks in Venezuela
CARACAS, Venezuela -- An Iran-flagged supertanker carrying more than 2 million barrels of condensate has docked at a Venezuelan port, with both countries facing U.S. sanctions, according to analysts and satellite images analyzed by The Associated Press.
The arrival of the oil tanker Starla comes as negotiations continue in Vienna over the Islamic Republic's tattered nuclear deal with world powers, which allowed for oil sales. In 2018, the U.S. unilaterally withdrew from the accord under then President Donald Trump, sparking years of tensions across the wider Mideast that continue today.
The Starla arrived off the coast of Barcelona, Venezuela, in late January. A satellite photo analyzed by AP from Planet Labs PBC showed the vessel there Sunday and corresponded to other images of the vessel and its helipad.
Its dimensions also matched those of the Starla, which is owned by National Iranian Tanker Co. The U.S. Treasury sanctioned the company in October 2020, saying it helped fund the expeditionary Quds Force of Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard.
The Starla represents the first known condensate shipment of 2022 from Iran to arrive in Venezuela as part of a relationship between the two oil-exporting nations that are both under American sanctions.
Iranian state media has not acknowledged the Starla's arrival in Venezuela after earlier trumpeting other shipments. Iran's mission to the United Nations did not respond to a request for comment.
Samir Madani, co-founder of TankerTrac....