US Lawmakers Warn Against Iran Boosting Oil Revenues Despite Sanctions

Thursday, 12/21/2023

In a letter to the US Treasury Department, 11 members of the House of Representatives warned against Iran’s illicit strategies to circumvent oil sanctions.

Iran’s actions are “compromising the safety and integrity of the international maritime industry and threatening our national security interests,” read the bipartisan letter.

Iran-backed Houthis have been attacking shipping in the Red Sea since mid-November, endangering lives and international commerce.

The representatives added that the Islamic Republic is on the verge of reaching its pre-sanctions revenues with selling 1.5 barrels per day, a number which is unprecedented over the past five years.

Buying 1.05 barrels per day, China is still the main customer of Iranian oil, the letter went on to say.

The representatives cited United Against Nuclear Iran’s recent warning that 370 foreign-flagged “ghost ships” are suspected of contributing to Tehran’s circumvention of oil bans over the past two years.

“This number is a 300-unit increase from its previous finding in November 2020,” said the letter.

The representatives also called for sanctions against the ghost ships involved in Iran’s illicit oil transfer.

Mohsen Khojasteh-Mehr, the CEO of the National Iranian Oil Company announced on Tuesday a 60% growth in the country's oil production over the past two years in spite of global sanctions.

According to a Congressional hearing earlier in the month, Iran has quadrupled its oil revenues since President Joe Biden took office, helping the regime better fund its malign activities.

“The Biden administration has taken a consistently weak approach to enforcing the energy sanctions that would have the strongest economic impact on Russia, Iran and Venezuela,” said Rep. Blaine Lutkemeyer, chairing the hearing.

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