Defying US Sanctions, Iran Tanker To Deliver Fuel To Venezuela

Above photo: An Iranian oil tanker. Nachoman-au/Wikipedia.

NOTE: Argus media reports that the US issued a response to Iran ignoring the illegal unilateral economic coercive measures being imposed on many countries by the US.

“The US administration today issued an advisory to the maritime industry on preventing violations of US sanctions, but stopped short of threatening strict penalties against shipping market participants.

The advisory asks the maritime shipping industry to be on the lookout for ship-to-ship transfers and shipping practices that it says Iran, North Korea and Syria use to avoid US sanctions targeting those countries’ energy and mining sectors. It recommends a set of best practices for the industry to help avoid being targeted by the US authorities. But the advisory does not impose any specific requirements for compliance with US laws.

The advisory has been under discussion within the US administration for months, and its earlier iterations threatened to impose sanctions on ship owners, port and terminal operators, insurance firms and charterers for dealing with entities on the US sanctions list, even unwittingly.”

A fuel tanker loaded at the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas is making its way to Venezuela, according to vessel tracking data issued by Refinitiv Icon, in defiance of the US-imposed sanctions on both countries, including on their respective oil industries. Venezuela, which is already in a crisis, is currently suffering from a shortage of gasoline.

The Iranian-flagged tanker “Clafel” reportedly crossed the Suez Canal yesterday, having been loaded with fuel in Iran at the end of March.

The Venezuelan-owned PDVSA oil company and the country’s Ministry of Oil did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment, nor has the US State Department.

Haaretz also reports that four other vessels of the same size, each flagged by Iran and originating from the same port, are due to cross the Atlantic Ocean, with their final destinations not established.

Two weeks ago Iran made a similar shipment to Syria, which is also under sanctions, allegedly providing the war-torn country up to 6.8 million barrels of oil, according to the Middle East Economic Survey.