US sells one million barrels of Iranian oil seized below sanctions

US sells one million barrels of Iranian oil seized below sanctions

A US Division of Justice spokesman mentioned the seized Iranian oil had been offered and the proceeds would go to the US Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund.

The US has offered greater than one million barrels of Iranian gas seized below its sanctions programme final yr, a Division of Justice official mentioned, as one other ship with intercepted Iranian crude oil sails to a US port.

The seizures are a part of Washington’s powerful financial sanctions on Tehran imposed over its nuclear programme and the US designation of a lot of Iranian teams as “terrorists”, persevering with a long time of rancour between the 2 nations. Iran rejects US accusations of wrongdoing.

In a brand new method final yr, the administration of former US President Donald Trump used civil forfeiture procedures to grab some 1.2 million barrels of gasoline it mentioned had been being despatched from Iran to Venezuela aboard 4 tankers.

The shipments, the most important seizure by Washington of Iranian gas to this point, had been transferred to different vessels and despatched to the US, the place the gas was meant to be offered and the proceeds distributed to a fund for US victims of “state-sponsored terrorism”.

Division of Justice spokesman Marc Raimondi informed Reuters information company this week that the sale of the cargoes had been accomplished, including that the federal government was “nonetheless figuring out the ultimate bills”.

“The petroleum has been seized, and an interlocutory sale has preserved the money worth of the petroleum, which is now held by the US Marshals Service,” he mentioned. The worth of the gasoline was not identified however was doubtless value tens of tens of millions of {dollars} primarily based on benchmark European gasoline costs.

Raimondi mentioned the division nonetheless wants the US District Court docket in Washington, DC to enter an order of forfeiture “after which the funds will likely be transferred to the US Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund”.

The fund was established by the US authorities in 2015 to award compensation to people who suffered hurt ensuing from the acts of these designated by the US as “state sponsors of terrorism”.

Final week, the US filed a lawsuit to grab one other cargo, this one among crude oil it says got here from Iran — slightly than Iraq, as acknowledged on the invoice of lading — contravening US terrorism rules.

That cargo, loaded onto the Liberian-flagged Achilleas tanker, was final reported in Caribbean waters. The US Gulf port of Galveston, Texas was its vacation spot with a scheduled arrival on February 15, Refinitiv ship monitoring knowledge confirmed on Wednesday.

Pilots teams in Galveston and Houston, Texas mentioned they haven’t been knowledgeable of the Achilleas’s arrival or which agent will deal with unloading the cargo.

Iran has not commented on the tanker as but.

Relations between Washington and Tehran worsened below Trump. His administration pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and 6 world powers, imposed extra sanctions on Tehran and killed the top of Iran’s elite Quds Drive in a January 2020 air strike.

US President Joe Biden helps returning to diplomacy with Iran if it comes into compliance with the 2015 nuclear accord. However this week he mentioned the US won’t elevate its financial sanctions on Iran with a view to get Tehran again to the negotiating desk to debate tips on how to revive the deal.

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