The United States confirmed Friday that it has seized nearly one million barrels of Iranian crude oil from the M/T Suez Rajan tanker.

Iran PressAmerica: The State Department said that the US government had seized the M/T Suez Rajan, a Greek-managed tanker, and its cargo of 980,000 barrels of crude oil, allegedly being sold by IRGC to China.

The seizure is at the center of a shadowy conflict playing out in the world’s ocean shipping corridors as the US seeks to use economic sanctions to block Iran from exporting oil.

The US and its allies have been seizing Iranian oil cargoes since withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and reimposing sanctions on Iran in 2018.

The US claims the Suez Rajan was transporting oil to China in violation of Washington's sanctions against Tehran.

As the Suez Rajan was being offloaded, Nasser Kanaani, a spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, portrayed recent US actions as contradictory, given the ongoing indirect negotiations between the two countries.

On the one hand, he said the US government was expressing interest in direct talks to pave the way for a renewed JCPOA and, on the other, imposing new sanctions and seizing oil.

Iranian oil exports their highest level this year since the US reimposed sanctions in 2018.


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