Iranian oil tanker in the Persian Gulf in March 2022

Iranian oil tanker in the Persian Gulf in March 2022

Oil Minister Says Iran Foiled Unreported US Attempted Oil Seizures

3/18/2022

United States armed forces have been thwarted in several attempts to seize tankers with Iran’s oil, Oil Minister Javad Owji said in an interview published Friday.

“In only one or two cases the Americans’ acts of aggression against the ships carrying Iranian oil were covered by the media, but several other cases were not,” Owji told Fars News. “Fortunately, the armed forces, especially the IRGC [Revolutionary Guards] Navy, did not allow the enemy to succeed…We took oil to the places the Americans cannot even think of”.

Earlier this month, Associated Press reported the US had seized cargoes of suspected Iranian oil in February as Tehran sought to sidestep US ‘maximum pressure’ sanctions that threaten punitive action against anyone buying Iranian oil. AP said the two tankers had used false documents and repainted the decks.

In past seizures, the US has auctioned the crude, earmarking the proceeds for “victims of terrorism” or ‘administration.’ A January report by the Washington Post looked at ways Iran exports diesel despite US ‘maximum pressure.’

Owji told Fars that Iran had increased lately oil production and income. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) confirmed Tuesday that Iran boosted production by 44,000 barrels a day (bpd) in January to 2.55 million bpd in February, fetching an average $93 a barrel, 62 percent up on the 2021 average.

The minister said earlier this month that output could reach its maximum within two months of a revived 2015 nuclear deal and eased US sanctions.

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