Middle East

Iran denies possession of seized tanker, tells Washington to ‘finish acts of piracy’

The seizure of an oil cargo earlier this month on the grounds that it had come from Tehran was an act of piracy, Iran’s Overseas Ministry stated, alleging that the cargo didn’t belong to the Iranian authorities.

The cargo was seized by america earlier this month after the Justice Division filed for confiscation in a Washington courtroom, alleging that the oil was owned and bought by Iran.

Particularly, the US authorities accused associates of the sanctioned Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) of making an attempt to cover the origin of the oil by transferring it to a number of ships earlier than it left.

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If true, the sale can be in direct violation of US sanctions and terrorism rules – however Iran denied on Monday that such a flip of occasions had occurred.

“This cargo doesn’t belong to the Iranian authorities. It belongs to the non-public sector,” Overseas Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh stated. Told a weekly press convention.

Whereas insisting that the cargo belonged to the non-public sector, Khatibzadeh didn’t specify who or what firm claimed possession of the cargo.

When the oil was seized, it was on board the Liberian-flagged tanker Achilleas sure for China.

The Achilleas final introduced their anchored place off Galveston, Texas within the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday, in line with Reuters, which cited Refinitiv’s vessel monitoring knowledge on Monday.

First entry in Biden

The seizure was the primary to happen underneath newly sworn-in US President Joe Biden, who pledged to work with Iran to enter right into a nuclear deal that may end in a major lifting of some US sanctions.

“It is vitally unlucky that such an act of piracy is happening underneath the brand new US administration,” Khatibzadeh stated on Monday.

“An answer have to be discovered to place an finish to such acts of piracy by anybody for any motive by any means,” he continued.

Final week, a Justice Division official stated america had bought multiple million barrels of Iranian gas that had been seized as a part of its sanctions program final yr, including that the proceeds had been to be transferred to the US Fund for Victims of State Terrorism.

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Washington started concentrating on the Iranian authorities in 2018 with a sequence of crippling sanctions that had been reimposed after then-President Donald Trump withdrew from the Obama-era nuclear deal reached by Iran with the world powers.

President Biden’s early initiatives to revive the nuclear deal have stalled, as america calls for that Iran return to full compliance with the deal earlier than getting into into negotiations, whereas Tehran says it’ll come into compliance as soon as america agrees to barter.

Thursday, Hossein Dehghan, the solely declared an Iranian presidential candidate, criticized the Biden administration for pursuing Trump’s insurance policies, warning that Tehran was making ready retaliatory measures to power Washington to vary its diplomatic course.

“The Biden administration has spoken of diplomacy, multilateralism and interplay on the worldwide stage in addition to a return to its worldwide commitments,” Dehghan stated.

“Nonetheless, we nonetheless see the identical insurance policies of the newly elected administration as these of the Trump workforce: not lifting the oppressive sanctions in opposition to the Iranian folks, persevering with to dam Iran’s oil revenues in overseas banks whereas we want cash to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

“Total, this implies the pursuit of Trumpism in worldwide relations.”

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