Two Iranian ships stranded off the coast of Brazil for weeks set sail on Saturday, officials said, after a court ordered state oil giant Petrobras to fuel up the vessels. The bulk carriers had been stuck at Paranagua port in the southern state of Parana since early last month after Petrobras refused to provide fuel for fear of breaching US sanctions on Iran.
Brazil’s top court on Thursday ordered state-run oil company Petrobras to refuel two Iranian grain vessels stranded on the Brazilian coast due to U.S. sanctions holding up sales of fuel needed for their return trips.
Iran has threatened to cut its imports from Brazil unless it allows the refuelling of at least two Iranian ships stranded off the Brazilian coast, a sign of the global repercussions of U.S. sanctions on the Islamic republic.
Two more Iranian bulk carriers that came to Brazil carrying urea and were expected to return home with corn could be left without enough fuel, as Brazil's Petrobras refuses to provide them with bunker fuel due to U.S. sanctions.
Prime Minister Theresa May will hold a meeting of Britain's emergencies committee on Monday to discuss Iran's seizure of a UK-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf. In one of her final important acts as prime minister before resigning on Wednesday, May will chair a meeting of Britain's COBR emergencies committee at around 10.30am (0930 GMT), her Downing Street office said.
The Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has condemned recent attacks on commercial shipping in the Strait of Hormuz and Sea of Oman at its meeting in London held from 15-19 July.
Iran's Revolutionary Guards said on Friday they had seized a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz for breaking international maritime rules as tensions mount in the highly sensitive waterway.