U.S. Representative: Venezuela, Iran Oil Deal Violates U.S. Sanctions

A U.S. Representative from Florida is urging the president's administration to investigate an oil agreement between Venezuela and Iran, reported eluniversal.com. Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen claims that Venezuela's deal with Iran runs contrary to U.S. sanctions against the radical Islamic nation.

"I am deeply concerned about these reports involving the Venezuelan state oil company and its connections to Iran," said the Cuban-US deputy (R-Fl).

The investigation request, sent to U.S. State Secretary Condoleezza Rice and U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson questions an agreement made between Petroleos de Venezuela (PdVSA) and Petropars, and Iranian oil firm. The lawmaker asked the US administration to determine whether an agreement Pdvsa and Iranian oil firm. Ros-Lehtinen believes the agreement "violates the terms or the spirit of the US law on sanctions against Iran."

The United States has conducted no official business with Iran since 1980.

In its report, eluniversal.com stated that Citgo, a Texas-based company, operates in Venezuela.

Citgo Petroleum's media relations representative Fernando Garay told Rigzone that Citgo does not operate in Venezuela. While Citgo claims that it does not operate in Venezuela, the company does have business ties to the Bolivarian Republic.

Citgo's website states, "The company is owned by PDV America, Inc., an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela."

Citgo's operations in the United States include coalition efforts with Venezuela. Citgo recently teamed up with Bernardo Alvarez, the ambassador of Venezuela, in New York, Boston, and Washington D.C. to form the 2007-2008 CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil program.

In her statement sent to Rice and Paulson, Ros-Lehtinen said the investigation should clarify whether or not Citgo is "making any economic profit from Iranian investments in the Venezuelan energy sector or whether Venezuelan investments in the Iranian energy sector and foreign companies or affiliates violated the US laws."