Uruguay has proposed to Iran that it is prepared to purchase Iranian oil in exchange for rice.
The Bernama Malaysian News Agency reports that Uruguay is examining the possibility of paying for Iranian crude with rice in an attempt to overcome sanctions against Iran that restrict financial transactions.
Iran is a major consumer of Uruguayan rice, but international transactions with Iran have been severely strained due to sanctions imposed against it by the U.S. and the European Union.
Uruguayan Agriculture Minister Tabare Aguerre is cited as saying: “If Iran is willing to barter oil for rice, we will do it and we will take currency out of [the transaction]."
Uruguay, Latin America’s biggest rice exporter, is trying to use barter to avoid punitive measures that the United States plans to take against countries that have financial dealings with Iran.
The U.S. President announced last week that there is enough oil supply in the world market to allow countries that purchase Iranian oil to find other sources for their needs.
The U.S. justifies its efforts to restrict the sale of Iranian oil with its suspicions about Iran’s nuclear program, which may have a military component, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.