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US imposes sanctions on Omani oil broker and VLCC for Iranian oil smuggling

The US Treasury Department is imposing sanctions on an Omani oil trader and a crude oil tanker accused of supporting the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Treasury targeted Omani national Mahmood Rashid Amur Al Habsi and businesses in Oman, Liberia, and Romania involved in the international smuggling of Iran’s oil.

It said that Al Habsi tampered with the automated identification systems that are onboard vessels, forged shipping documents, and paid bribes to circumvent US restrictions related to Iran. Al Habsi reportedly took actions to obscure the involvement of the IRGC’s Quds Force in the oil sales and shipments to foreign customers, including buyers in East Asia.

The sanctions included businesses associated with Al Habsi, including his Oman-based company, Nimr International, which Treasury said facilitates the shipment of Iranian oil, Orbit Petrochemicals Trading, Dubai-based Bravery Maritime and Romania-based Nimr International.

Treasury also sanctioned the Liberian-flagged VLCC Oman Pride, which has been used to transport Iranian oil, and identified as a property in which Bravery Maritime Corporation has an interest.

The action blocks any US assets of the blacklisted individuals and companies and bans US citizens from dealing with them.

The sanctions follow recent talks to bring back the 2015 nuclear deal and several attacks on ships for which Iran was blamed but denied involvement.

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a background in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.
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