BRASILIA (Reuters) – The Brazilian government has been alerting local companies about the extent of sanctions imposed by the United States on Iran and the possible consequences in case of noncompliance, President Jair Bolsonaro said on Friday.
His remarks came a day after Reuters reported that two Iranian vessels were stranded off the Brazilian coast, unable to head back to Iran due to lack of fuel, as state-controlled oil company Petrobras, which dominates the local bunker fuel market, refuses to sell them fuel.
“There is this problem, the U.S. unilaterally imposed these sanctions on Iran. Brazilian companies have been informed by us about this situation and are running a risk there,” Bolsonaro told reporters. He said he was working to forge a very close relationship with the United States, which is in Brazil’s national interest.
“I, particularly, am getting close to Trump, I was received twice by him. It is the No. 1 economy in the world, our second-largest market, and now Brazil has its arms open to do deals and partnerships,” Bolsonaro said.
Some traders in Brazil have speculated whether the situation with the Iranian ships, one loaded with corn and unable to leave, could impact trade more broadly with the Islamic republic, one of the largest Brazilian grain importers.
“Brazil is a country that has no disputes, fights in the world, and we want to keep it that way,” Bolsonaro said. “But we understand that some other countries have problems, and here we have to take care of our issues first.”
(Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu; Writing by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Leslie Adler)