US to keep sanctions in place - Iranian VLCC discharges cargo

Sep 13 2019

The US is to continue to impose sanctions on purchasers of Iran's oil or people or companies that conduct business with Iran's Revolutionary Guard.

In addition, no oil waivers will be re-issued, a US official said last Sunday.

"We will continue to put pressure on Iran and as President (Trump) said there will be no waivers of any kind for Iran's oil," Sigal Mandelker, US Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, told US media.

Mandelker also claimed that Iranian oil sales have taken a "serious nose dive" because of US pressure.

France has suggested offering Iran about $15 bill in credit lines until the end of this year, if Tehran comes fully back into compliance with its 2015 nuclear deal, a move that hinges on Washington not blocking it, both Western and Iranian sources said. 

On 4th September, 2019, US OFAC published an ‘Advisory to the Maritime Petroleum Shipping Community’. This designated 11 vessels, 16 entities and 10 individuals blacklisted, issued updated FAQs addressing the supply of bunkers to vessels carrying sanctionable Iranian products, outlined risk mitigation measures and repeated the risks involved in providing insurance for Iran related persons or activity.

On Sunday, Iran claimed that the VLCC ‘Adrian Darya 1’, which was detained off Gibraltar in July for allegedly breaching EU sanctions on Syria and released in mid-August, had discharged its cargo after berthing in the Mediterranean region off Syria.

Later in the week, the US claimed it had proof that the cargo was discharged in Syria.

Last month, the US Treasury blacklisted the tanker, which switched off its tracking device off Syria last week and has since been photographed by satellite off the Syrian port of Tartous.

"This is not just about the tanker. It is a sharp warning to any company in the world," said Mandelker. "Companies and governments understand that between the choice of doing business with Iran or doing business with the US, it’s a no-brainer."

Last week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran will never hold bilateral talks with the US but if it lifts all the sanctions it re-imposed on the country, it can join multi-lateral talks with other parties to the nuclear agreement.

This week, the UK Government accused Iran of breaking a promise not to discharge the VLCC’s oil in Syria.

Shipping tracking firms have also claimed that other Iranian tankers had switched off their tracking devices.


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