In an effort to get around European sanctions on the sale of its crude oil, Iran changed both the names and the flag of many of its crude tankers. The change allowed the Iranian tanker fleet to dodge the US-European sanctions by enabling the fleet to buy insurance, without which no crude oil buyer will allow a cargo to sail.
The US Treasury Department yesterday identified an additional 20 people and 4 front companies that US citizens and companies will no longer be able to do business with because they are “owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, the Government of Iran.” The Treasury Department also identified the National Iranian Tanker Company as an Iranian government entity. In addition to forbidding doing business with these entities, the Treasury action also freezes any assets held by them in the US.
The National Iranian Tanker Company’s fleet can carry up to 62 million barrels of oil, and by renaming, reflagging, or disabling GPS systems, the tanker fleet has tried to evade US-European sanctions, according to the Treasury Department.