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The US Government Seizes Nearly 1 Million Barrels of Iranian Crude Oil Bound for China

September 10, 2023

In a groundbreaking development, the US government has taken possession of approximately 1 million barrels of Iranian crude oil that were allegedly destined for China. This revelation comes to light through recently unsealed court documents and an official statement issued by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The DOJ stated, “This marks the first-ever criminal resolution involving a company found in violation of sanctions by facilitating the illicit sale and transportation of Iranian oil.”

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a designated foreign terrorist organization by the US, is believed to have been behind the shipment of over 980,000 barrels of oil, as detailed in the DOJ’s press release.

According to court documents, the DOJ alleges that multiple entities linked to Iran’s IRGC and the IRGC-Qods Force collaborated in a sophisticated scheme to conceal the oil’s origin and unlawfully sell it to China.

The court filings further assert that the profits from these oil sales have been used to support the IRGC’s various activities, including the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, assistance to terrorism, and involvement in both domestic and international human rights violations.

Earlier this year, the company responsible for operating the vessel transporting the contraband oil, Empire Navigation, admitted to conspiring to breach the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. As a result, the IRGC was slapped with a hefty fine of nearly $2.5 million and sentenced to three years of corporate probation. The DOJ also noted that the company’s vessel, Suez Rajan Limited, undertook significant expenses for its voyage to the United States.

CNN has made efforts to obtain a comment from Empire Navigation regarding this matter.

Credit: CNN

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