UAE, Oman And UK Tell Court US Seized Their Oil
Shippers based in the UAE, Oman and the UK told a US court today they hold title to the cargoes seized by the US aboard four tankers that allegedly were transporting petroleum products from Iran to Venezuela. The US Justice Department on 14 August said it took custody of 1.16mn bl of Iranian product aboard four Greek-owned, Liberia-flagged tankers — the Bella, the Bering, the Luna and the Pandi. The vessels were carrying cargoes — interchangeably described by US attorneys as gasoil, gasoline and refined oil — from Iran to Venezuela, the US said. The three companies said they had the right to "title, possession and control" of the cargoes. Today's filing adds a new twist to what the Justice Department described as the first seizure of Iranian cargoes by the US since the re-imposition of sanctions in 2018 banning Iran's exports of crude and products.