Caracas newspaper El Nacional says the U.S. State Department is investigating possible oil sales by Venezuela’s state energy company to Iran. The sales, if confirmed, would be a trigger for U.S. sanctions against PDVSA, as the company is known, which currently sells as much as a million barrels a day of oil and refined products to the U.S.
From El Nacional (my translation):
The U.S. is investigating the government of Venezuela and PDVSA for allegedly violating the Integrated Sanctions, Responsibility and Disinvestment Act against Iran, which increased restrictions on commerce with the Islamic Republic and includes measures designed to affect foreign companies doing business with the Asian country.
Notification was received in early February by the charge d’affaires of the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, Angelo Rivero, and bureaucrats of the national oil company, when they met with Robert Cekuta, assistant undersecretary of the State Departament for Energy, Sanctions and Basic Products.
“They asked them questions about various activities considered suspicious and that apparently violated the law,” said sources in Washington.
Ah “sources” again — I love the idea of a direct quote from multiple people. Were they reading a script or something? Whatever, the story is credible regardless. It’ll be interesting to see where this goes.