Iran Wants to Use Brazilian Ethanol to Circumvent US Trade Blockade

Miguel Jorge with Iran's Mehrabian The Iranian government is interested in using Brazilian ethanol in its vehicles. This information was given by the Brazil’s minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Miguel Jorge, who led a trade delegation to the Middle East and is in Tehran.

The interest in Brazilian fuel was shown at a meeting between Miguel Jorge and the Iranian minister of Industry and Mines, Ali Akbar Mehrabian. Both opened, on Tuesday (13), at the Parnasian Esteghlal International Hotel, the business meetings between Brazilian and Iranian executives. A group of 86 men and women from Brazil participate in the delegation.

According to information disclosed by Miguel Jorge, Iran is interested in Brazilian ethanol due to the problems it is facing with gasoline supply. The country in the Middle East produces oil, but it does not have refineries and is having difficulties importing gasoline due to the trade blockade it faces.

Ethanol, according to the Brazilian minister, would be an alternative. Miguel Jorge believes that it would have to be bought in Brazil – and not produced in Iran – as the land in the country is not very appropriate for agriculture.

According to the Brazilian minister, it is possible for the Iranians to invest in funds connected to Brazilian ethanol mills. Attracting Iranian investment in this area, in ethanol and agriculture, in fact, was one of Miguel Jorge’s objectives in the mission.

At the opening of the meetings, on Tuesday morning, the minster spoke to those present about the Brazilian experience with flexible fuel technology, in which a vehicle may run on ethanol, gasoline or any combination of the two.

The delegation’s visit prompted a series of discussions about cooperation. According to Mehrabian, during the visit that Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has scheduled to Tehran, in May, an agreement in the mining area should be signed. According to Miguel Jorge, cooperation may help business in the sector.

In the Iranian capital, representatives of Vale, a Brazilian mining company, met with mining sector representatives to discuss possible business and partnerships. The Iranian minister also showed interest in the Brazilian experience with production of electricity.

During the meeting this morning, minister Miguel Jorge pointed out the advances in relations between Brazil and Iran, which took place mainly after president Lula was inaugurated in office, in 2003. Brazilian exports to the country rose from US$ 491 million in 2002 to US$ 1.2 billion last year.

Mehrabian said that both countries are going to make an effort to simplify trade, including product transport and financing. The ministers called on Brazilian businessmen present to help boost trade.

Anba

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