Iran looking for solutions to keep oil flowing


The Minister's statement following threats by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed last week it would deploy to the Israeli Navy to deal with Iran's attempts suspected of smuggling oil through sea routes to avoid sanctions imposed by Washington.

Iran is struggling to keep its ships flagged to foreign registries too.

While tracking Iran's oil exports has become an increasingly hard task after the US sanctions returned, some of the key Iranian oil customers that received USA waivers resumed buying Iran's oil in 2019 or increased imports to their respective ceiling allowed under the waivers, after an initial "wait-and-see mode" for November and December purchases amid uncertainties as to who was getting waivers.

The news of an advanced level meeting with industry executives on critical diplomatic and political mandates came forward, after Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) commented yesterday (March 11th) that the United States would be leading the global crude supply and controlling the markets alongside prices within next five years.

For example, last year, one of Iran's tankers sank near China after a collision with another vessel.

Iranian officials, however, are trying to appear positive and upbeat regarding the sanctions. However, the age of the fleet and the dilapidated state of the tankers are making the challenge even more hard.

But potential sellers of vessels are more wary under the new round of sanctions after a Greek network that helped Iran buy tankers under previous restrictions was blacklisted.

Greece and Italy were not buying any Iranian oil, Iran's oil minister, Bijan Zanganeh, was quoted as saying in February.

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Dealing with Iran's flag registry raises compliance issues for counterparties as there is a risk they might interact with individuals or entities blacklisted under United States sanctions.

It is believed that more than 15 Iranian tankers are coming up to 20 years old.

Washington may also deny waivers to some countries that have not bought Iranian crude recently, the sources said.

Mike Salthouse, with the International Group, which represents companies that insure about 90 percent of the world's commercial shipping, said Western insurers were very unlikely to do business with Iranian shipping companies.

If Iran runs into difficulties exporting its oil it could have a significant impact.

"Banks will not engage when you mention the Iran word".

U.S. Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook, described Iran's tanker sector as a "floating liability" in November.