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Iran to swap crude oil for grains from Cuba: Deputy FM

Iran’s deputy FM says the country will import grains from Cuba in return for crude exports.

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 on Monday 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.

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