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Iran sanctions

Imported Iranian crude oil to US was from seized tankers: Sources

The US Treasury Department took the cargoes, and no money was transferred to Iran, a source familiar with the matter told Al Arabiya English

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The Iranian crude oil that appeared to be imported by the United States in March was from tankers the US had previously seized, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

Confusion surrounded the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) publication of 1.033 million barrels of Iranian crude oil that appeared to be imported by the US earlier this year.

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But one of the sources told Al Arabiya English that the crude was from elicit tankers “commandeered by the US.”

According to The Associated Press, the oil was from a ship seized in February by US forces near the UAE’s Fujairah.

Al Arabiya English could not independently verify the origin of the crude, and the Department of Energy did not respond to requests for comment.

Reuters initially reported that the March shipment was the first to be imported from Iran since 1991, and questions were asked whether the Biden administration circumvented US sanctions on Iran’s energy sector.

However, the first source told Al Arabiya English that the Treasury Department took the cargoes, and no money was transferred to Iran.

The US previously said that it sold over a million barrels of seized Iranian fuel last year.

Meanwhile, media reports suggest Iran is currently sending two vessels towards Venezuela, one of which is a former oil tanker.

US officials are closely monitoring the two vessels, sources told Washington-based Politico on Wednesday. But there are no plans to send US Navy ships to the Atlantic to confront the incoming vessels, the officials said.

Read more: US sells over a million barrels of illicit Iranian fuel, another seized cargo on way