US unloads seized Iranian oil at Texas port

US unloads seized Iranian oil at Texas port
2 min read
31 May, 2021
Millions of barrels of oil seized from an Iranian tanker has been unloaded at the US port of Galveston in Texas.
Iran and the US are engaged in indirect talks to lift sanctions [Getty]

The US has taken delivery of over a million barrels of Iranian oil seized in March according to data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), Reuters has reported.

According to recently released EIA data, 1.033 million barrels of Iranian crude oil was off-loaded onto US soil from the Liberian-flagged MT Achilleas, which had been seized by US authorities. 

The delivery marks the second time that Iranian oil has been transported to the US since 1991. 

The last delivery of Iranian oil to the US occurred in October 2020.

This oil was also seized as part of Washington’s sanctions programme

Shipping data released by Refinitiv Eikon revealed that in March, the Achilleas unloaded the oil it was carrying at the US port of Galveston on the Gulf of Mexico. 

The US has been seizing ships suspected of carrying Iranian oil as part of its tough campaign of sanctions against Iran, which were imposed by the administration of former US President Donald Trump after it unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA Iran nuclear deal in 2018. 

Since April, the Biden administration has been engaged in indirect talks with Iran in order to negotiate a return to the deal.

The talks are focused on Iran returning to compliance with limits on uranium enrichment imposed by the JCPOA deal in exchange for the lifting of US sanctions. 

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In Indonesia on Friday, an Iranian tanker suspected of illegally transporting oil and seized in January by Indonesian authorities was permitted to leave, Indonesian officials and Iranian state media reported.

A court had earlier ruled that the Iranian-flagged MT Horse could leave Indonesia. 

The MT Horse is believed to have delivered 2.1 million barrels of condensate oil to Venezuela last year, which is also heavily sanctioned by the US.