Mechanical issue delays departure of Iran ship stranded in Brazil

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One of two Iranian ships stranded off the coast of Brazil for weeks was forced to delay its departure Sunday due to a mechanical problem, according to port officials and the ships’ contractor.

The bulk carriers had been stuck at Paranagua port in the southern state of Parana since early last month after Petrobras refused to provide fuel for fear of breaching US sanctions on Iran.

On Thursday, a Supreme Court judge ordered the oil giant to refuel the two ships, which were then scheduled to depart over the weekend.

The order came after Iran’s top envoy to Brazil told Bloomberg that Tehran could suspend imports from the Latin American country if the issue was not resolved.

A spokesperson for Eleva Quimica, the Brazilian company, which contracted the vessels, said refueling started in the early hours of Saturday.

The port administrator confirmed one of the ships, Termeh, departed Saturday as scheduled to another Brazilian port. But the Bavand, which was scheduled to return to Iran Sunday morning, suffered a mechanical issue.

The Bavand will set sail Monday morning.

The ships had reportedly brought urea, which is used to make fertilizer, to Brazil and were to transport corn back to Iran.

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