Iran boosts oil trade via UAE ahead of sanctions relief

Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:16am GMT

* Iran's fuel oil exports flow more easily

* Its imports of much-needed gasoline jump

* Some subterfuge still used

By Rania El Gamal

DUBAI, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Iran has boosted exports of fuel oil through U.S.-ally the United Arab Emirates and also almost doubled its imports of gasoline, despite Western sanctions, trading sources said.

The U.S. State Department recently cabled a message to embassies around the world to reiterate that sanctions on Iran are still in place, diplomatic and government sources told Reuters on Friday.

Yet behind the scenes Iran and its eager potential trading partners are quietly getting ready for life after sanctions, following the landmark July agreement with the West over Tehran's nuclear policy.

The resumption of some direct shipments of refined oil products from Iran's Bandar Mahshahr to the UAE's Fujairah port contrasts with the more intricate and furtive means Tehran had employed using ship-to-ship transfers and trading firms in the UAE acting as middlemen for buyers to sidestep sanctions.

The trading sources said Iranian fuel oil shipments are still being presented with documents declaring it of Iraqi origin at the ship refuelling hub of Fujairah. Fuel oil is used to power ships and also for electricity generation.   Continued...

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