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New Iranian ship loads raw material for Tehran's missile programme in Venezuela

New Iranian ship loads raw material for Tehran's missile programme in Venezuela
Both the Islamic Republic and the South American country are sanctioned by the United States and the international community and have sought trade support to mitigate the effects of the sanctions

This was the departure last week of a ship flying the Iranian flag from Venezuela after having previously landed food in Caracas, Reuters reported on the basis of three sources, which could not determine who the customer for the alumina cargo was or where it was destined.

This is the last indication of the links between two countries subject to US sanctions.

The 'Golsan', a general cargo ship with a capacity of 22,882 tons, arrived in Venezuela in June loaded with food to supply the Iranian supermarket chain that had set up shop in the South American country.

Although Venezuelan state television claimed that the cargo on the Iranian ship was fruit ("mangoes and pineapples"), the Refinitiv Eikon and Marine Traffic maritime monitoring system shows how the ship headed for La Gueira after loading material from the Venezuelan bauxite and alumina company CVG Bauxilum at the port and leaving for Iran on 19 August.

Alumina is a powder extracted from the processing of bauxite, which is a key ingredient in the manufacture of aluminium. According to Reuters, citing a former Iranian government official and documents related to the facility, the Islamic Republic has been producing aluminium powder for years for use in its missile programme at a secret facility established by the Revolutionary Guard (the elite corps of the Persian Army).

Aluminium from alumina processing is a key element of the ballistic missile programme. The ship 'Golsan' is owned by Mosakhar Darya Shipping Co and managed by Rahbaran Omid Darya, both companies based in Tehran and blocked since 2018 by sanctions imposed by the Donald Trump Administration.

It is not very clear how Nicolas Maduro's regime has paid for these transactions, though US officials pointed out that Iran would have collected its assets with gold from Venezuela's reserves.

This latest delivery comes just weeks after Washington announced that it had seized four fuel tankers belonging to Iran that were heading for Venezuela. Between the end of May and June, the Iranian-flagged vessels 'Fortune', 'Forest', 'Faxon', 'Petunia' and '

Loaded with fundamental minerals for the missile programme. This was the departure last week of a ship flying the Iranian flag from Venezuela after having previously landed food in Caracas, Reuters reported on the basis of three sources, which could not determine who the customer for the alumina cargo was or where it was destined.

This is the last indication of the links between two countries subject to US sanctions. The 'Golsan', a general cargo ship with a capacity of 22,882 tons, arrived in Venezuela in June loaded with food to supply the Iranian supermarket chain that had set up shop in the South American country.

Although Venezuelan state television claimed that the cargo on the Iranian ship was fruit ("mangoes and pineapples"), the Refinitiv Eikon and Marine Traffic maritime monitoring system shows how the ship headed for La Gueira after loading material from the Venezuelan bauxite and alumina company CVG Bauxilum at the port and leaving for Iran on 19 August.

Alumina is a powder extracted from the processing of bauxite, which is a key ingredient in the manufacture of aluminium. According to Reuters, citing a former Iranian government official and documents related to the facility, the Islamic Republic has been producing aluminium powder for years for use in its missile programme at a secret facility established by the Revolutionary Guard (the elite corps of the Persian Army). Aluminium from alumina processing is a key element of the ballistic missile programme.

The ship 'Golsan' is owned by Mosakhar Darya Shipping Co and managed by Rahbaran Omid Darya, both companies based in Tehran and blocked since 2018 by sanctions imposed by the Donald Trump Administration.

It is not very clear how Nicolas Maduro's regime has paid for these transactions, though US officials pointed out that Iran would have collected its assets with gold from Venezuela's reserves.

This latest delivery comes just weeks after Washington announced that it had seized four fuel tankers belonging to Iran that were heading for Venezuela.

Between the end of May and June, the Iranian-flagged vessels 'Fortune', 'Forest', 'Faxon', 'Petunia' and 'Clavel' arrived in Venezuela with a cargo of 1.5 million barrels of fuel and additives to cope with the shortage of petrol facing Venezuela, the country with the largest oil reserves in the world.

' arrived in Venezuela with a cargo of 1.5 million barrels of fuel and additives to cope with the shortage of petrol facing Venezuela, the country with the largest oil reserves in the world.

 

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