Three well-informed sources said that a ship flying the Iranian flag finished loading a shipment of alumina in Venezuela this month, after it delivered supplies to an Iranian storage there.
Reuters reported that this is the latest indication of the convergence of relations between the two countries subject to U.S. sanctions, noting that it was not able to know the buyer of the alumina shipment, nor its destination.
Alumina is a powder extracted from processing bauxite, which is a key ingredient in aluminum manufacturing.
Iran has been producing aluminum powder for years for use in its missile program at a secret facility set up by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Reuters reported in June, citing a former Iranian government official and documents relating to the facility.
Refinitiv Icon data show that the vessel “Goslan” headed for La Gueira after loading into the port of the Venezuelan bauxite and alumina company “CVG Bauxilum”, and then sailed on August 19.
This latest delivery comes just weeks after the U.S. announced that it had seized four fuel tankers belonging to Iran that were en route to Venezuela.
Iran has denied that these fuel tankers belonged to them, with the Islamic Republic’s President Hassan Rouhani accusing the U.S. of making these claims in order to make up for their failure to renew the arms embargo against the Persian Gulf nation.