Amman - Iran has delivered several gasoline and crude oil shipments to Syria, easing a near two-month gasoline shortage aggravated by tougher U.S. sanctions, shippers, port officials and traders said.
A vessel began unloading 38,000 tonnes of gasoline at the Baniyas oil terminal on Monday, three weeks after another ship carrying Iranian crude unloaded its one million barrel cargo, three shippers and a Damascus-based businessman familiar with the shipment told Reuters.
In addition an Iranian vessel carrying another 1 million barrels off-loaded its cargo in the Mediterranean to two smaller vessels for delivery to Syria, a Beirut-based shipper and a Amman-based regional shipper also said
Those cargoes were delivered two weeks ago, they said.
Oil Minister Bassam Touma had said in September that The Caesar Act - the toughest U.S. sanctions which came into force last June prohibiting foreign companies trading with Damascus - had disrupted several imported shipments from undisclosed suppliers.
A halving of Iranian deliveries in the last four months purchased by Damascus under credit lines and barter deals with Tehran worsened the chronic shortages, another three shippers said.
They said Iran’s preference to step up cash sales to Asian customers rather than supply its ally Damascus on credit was a factor behind the reduced supplies. Iran’s own economy has also been struggling from the impact of U.S. sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic.