US Authorities Demanded The Arrest Of Four Tankers With Iranian Fuel Going To Venezuela
US Federal Prosecutors have filed a lawsuit to arrest four tankers carrying fuel from Iran to Venezuela, writes The Wall Street Journal.
Federal Prosecutor of the district of Columbia Zia Faruqui in the text of the claim claims that businessman Mahmoud Madanipour, associated with the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which is listed in the US as a terrorist organization, organized deliveries through a network of fictitious companies to circumvent US sanctions.
An Iranian businessman used firms registered in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), falsified data on the origin of fuel, and organized dangerous transshipment operations from ship to ship on the high seas, according to the investigation. US investigators also claim that Madanipour tried to arrange deliveries to China and Malaysia.
The newspaper notes that the US authorities are trying not only to prevent Venezuela from getting fuel but also to deprive Tehran of revenue from its sale and prevent future deliveries.
According to the district of Columbia attorney, proceeds from fuel sales through agents "support a wide range of IRGC illegal activities, including the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, support for terrorism, and human rights violations at home and abroad."
US authorities say that nine tankers are involved in the recent supply of Iranian fuel to Venezuela. At the end of June, the US imposed sanctions on the captains of five oil tankers that Iran sent to Venezuela, which is experiencing acute fuel shortages due to US sanctions imposed against it. Iran is also under the oil sanctions of the United States.
However, the organizers of the deliveries found a way to circumvent the pressure of Washington, writes the WSJ with reference to the correspondence quoted in the statement of claim. In particular, they offered to buy one of the vessels from the owner, who wanted to refuse deliveries.
Also, US prosecutors claim that Iran manages to maintain financial ties with other countries, despite US sanctions. According to them, Madanipour informed a representative of buyers from China about the possibility of receiving payment for Iranian oil in Oman, the OEA, Turkey, Italy, and Germany.