Iran to buy petrol from Venezuela
TEHRAN (AFP) - Venezuela has agreed to sell petrol to its anti-American ally Iran after Tehran implemented a rationing scheme which sparked angry protests across the nation, a press report said on Tuesday.
Iranians have asked to buy petrol from us and we have agreed," Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez told Shargh newspaper during a visit to Iran with President Hugo Chavez.
The minister did not provide any further details.
Last Tuesday OPEC's second largest crude producer Iran introduced petrol rationing throughout the country, limiting most private cars to a monthly quota of 100 litres.
Iran has close cooperation and trade ties with fellow OPEC member Venezuela, which is also fiercely anti-American.
The introduction of the rationing saw angry demonstrators torching petrol stations and yelling slogans against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his government.
Ahmadinejad said the rationing made Iran "invincible", giving it immunity from international pressure, which is mounting on Tehran to halt its nuclear programme.
He said he wants Iran to be less dependent on petrol imports, which cost the country five billion dollars in the last financial year to March.
A lack of refining capacity has forced Iran to resort to imports to meet 40 percent of demand for petrol.