TEHRAN (Iran News) – Iran will swap its crude oil for grain shipments from Cuba as part of agreements reached between senior officials from the two countries in recent weeks, says a senior Iranian Foreign Ministry official.
Mehdi Safari, who serves as Iranian deputy foreign minister for economic diplomacy, said that Iran and Cuba have been pursuing swap agreements as a major part of their trade and economic discussions in recent weeks.
“Swap with Cuba is being seriously pursued and it has been agreed that we import the grains we need in return for exporting oil in a systematic manner,” Safari was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency.
Iran has reached similar swap deals with trade partners since the country came under American sanctions in 2018. The unilateral sanctions were meant to minimize Iran’s ability to freely sell its oil in the international markets.
Although oil sales have rebounded in recent months in defiance of US sanctions, Iranian government authorities still insist they will pursue barter deals with other countries to help boost trade with the rest of the world.
Safari said Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji raised the issue of barter trade with Cuba during a trip to the country last month.
He suggested a final agreement on the issue had been reached over the past two days during the 18th session of the Iran-Cuba Joint Economic Commission held in Tehran.
Safari said that Iran views Cuba as a main gateway for its exports to countries in the Central and Latin America region.
Meanwhile yesterday Iranian Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Ehsan Khandouzi Seyed Ehsan Khandouzi in meeting with Cuban Deputy Prime Minister and President’s Special Envoy Mr. Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz called for boosting cooperation between the two states.
Khandouzi said that the Islamic Republic of Iran has always been seeking long term and sustainable economic relations with the Latin American states and especially with Cuba.
He said that considering the background of excellent political cooperation between the two states, Cuba is very important for Iran. He then pointed to the history of cooperation between the two states in the fields of health and agriculture and emphasized necessity for improving economic relations and said that it is expected with implementation of agreements, the cooperation between the two countries would broaden. He also called for finalizing the agreements for incentives and mutual support of investment and avoiding from getting double tax.
Then Cabrisas, for his part, highlighted his country’s plans for broadening economic development and priorities to reach economic development cooperation and enumerated negative factors effecting Cuban economy like economic sanctions or COVID pandemic and emphasized that climate and Ukraine war have overshadowed Cuba’s food security.
He then announced readiness of Cuba for using Iran’s experience and technology in implementing important economic projects.
Cabrisas also pointed to the high capacities of agro, health, energy and medical sectors as well as the capability of the Iranian companies and called for increasing the long term economic cooperation between the two countries.
Cabrisas arrived on Friday in this capital on an official visit heading the Caribbean island’s delegation to the 18th Session of the Iran-Cuba Intergovernmental Commission.
The Cuban delegation included the Minister of Energy and Mines, Livan Arronte, and deputy ministers of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment and Food Industry, Deborah Rivas and Diorgys Hernandez, respectively.