Aletho News


US senators demand Biden seize more Iranian oil tankers

The Cradle | April 28, 2023

A bipartisan group of US lawmakers has urged President Joe Biden to enable the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) to seize more Iranian oil and gas shipments.

“It is unacceptable that a US government program, which makes the United States and its allies safer, provides funds to remediate the victims of terrorism, and generates income for the United States in a cost-effective manner has been allowed to languish,” a letter drafted by Senators Joni Ernst and Richard Blumenthal reads.

The letter then highlights that the HIS has not been allowed to conduct what amounts to maritime piracy for more than a year before lamenting the success of the Islamic Republic in bypassing US sanctions to boost its oil and gas exports.

“As Iranian oil sales continue to rise, and the IRGC continues to target US citizens and servicemembers, including inside the US, it is imperative that we use all available government assets to limit the activities of the Iranian regime.”

Other senators that signed the letter included Ted Cruz, Steve Daines, Lindsey Graham, Maggie Hassan, Mark Kelly, Joe Manchin, Jerry Moran, Marco Rubio, Kyrsten Sinema, and Ron Wyden.

“The failure to support HSI’s Iranian oil seizure and disruption operations in FY22, despite available funds, is a policy choice that must be reversed,” the senators stressed.

HIS was formed in 2019 during the government of former president Donald Trump. According to the lawmakers, the agency is responsible for pillaging nearly $230 million in Iranian crude and fuel oil.

Its operations have reportedly been curtailed by “policy limitations” from the Department of Treasury’s Executive Office for Asset Forfeiture.

Despite an ever-intensifying “‘maximum pressure” sanctions campaign from the west, Iranian oil exports have reached their highest level since 2015.

According to Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji, Iran exported 83 million more oil barrels in the past 12-month period compared to the 12 months before. At the same time, gas exports increased by 15 percent over the past 12 months.

Iranian crude exports fell to as little as 100,000 bpd in 2020 from over 2.5 million bpd in 2018.

Tehran has been able to evade the US-imposed sanctions, partly through oil sales to China, Iran’s biggest customer, and increase its exports. To avoid sanctions, most of Iran’s crude exports to China are rebranded as crude from other countries. This is done by forging documents to hide the origin of Iranian oil cargo.

See also: Quiet US Seizure Of Iranian Crude Prompted Iran’s Capture Of Houston-Destined Tanker

April 29, 2023 - Posted by | Wars for Israel | ,

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