Dozens of merchant ships with grains and sugar are stuck outside Iranian ports after weeks of delays as payments snags disrupt flows of goods into the country, according to trade sources and shipping data.
Food is exempt from the West’s sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme, but the impact of the sanctions on Iran’s financial system have created complex and erratic payment arrangements with international companies.
The latest payment issues have led to ships being unable to discharge cargoes, with at least 40 bulk carrier ships stuck outside the major Iranian ports of Bandar Imam Khomeini and Bandar Abbas, ship tracking data on Refinitiv showed.
Iran’s foreign ministry was not immediately available for comment.
Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organisation said in a report in November that some 37 ships loaded with 2.2 million tonnes of goods had not been able to unload due to “documentation and hard currency payment issues” at Bandar Imam Khomeini.