US imposes sanctions on Iran oil-shipping network

US imposes sanctions on Iran oil-shipping network

US imposes sanctions on Iran oil-shipping network

Sanctions on Iran have been introduced last year by the West to choke off Tehran’s funding of its nuclear program ports, a charge Iran denies. DHA photo

The United States slapped financial sanctions on a Greek businessman it says secretly operated a shipping network on behalf of the Iranian government to get around international sanctions on the country’s sale of oil.

“Today, we are lifting the veil on an intricate Iranian scheme that was designed to evade international oil sanctions,” U.S. Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen said in a statement on March 14.

The sanctions cited Dimitris Cambis and a number of front companies for buying tankers on behalf of the National Iranian Tanker Company, barred U.S. citizens from doing business with them and froze any of their assets under U.S. jurisdiction.

Cambis was identified in a Reuters report last month that said Iran was using old tankers to ship oil to China.

Reuters reported that Cambis had bought eight tankers last year, which were then used to transport Iranian crude. Cambis denied trading with Iran or the involvement of his vessels in loading Iranian oil.
Greece also ordered a probe into an unnamed foreign company to see if its license to operate in the country should be revoked over its involvement in the shipping network.

A preliminary investigation by the Greek shipping ministry has shown no Greek-flagged ship or Greek shipping company is involved in the case, the ministry said.A senior U.S. administration official dismissed Cambis’ denial in a telephone conference call with reporters, saying the clandestine operation had been deliberately structured to conceal Iranian involvement.