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Iran says US has failed to stop oil exports

TEHRAN (AFP) – Iran said yesterday that United States (US) attempts to seize its tankers and oil cargo had failed to stop exports that are subject to sanctions imposed by its arch foe.

The comments by Iran’s oil minister, Jawad Owji, came after US court documents showed the US had seized the cargo of two tankers accused of carrying Iranian crude.

“Attempts by the enemy to reduce Iran’s oil exports and capture the country’s ships have taken place many times” in past months, Owji said.

“When the enemy saw that it was helpless and could not stop our exports and contracts, it went for our ships,” he said, quoted by the government’s Iran newspaper.

Court documents that have been made public showed US authorities seized several weeks ago 700,000 barrels of oil which they said had left Iran in 2020 before being transferred to other vessels to avoid detection.

The US had previously issued a number of warrants to seize the cargo of tankers carrying Iranian oil to different countries.

It confirmed in August 2020 the seizure of fuel aboard four tankers sent by Iran to Venezuela. “Now you have heard one or two cases, but several other similar cases have occurred, which fortunately were thwarted by the good strength of the armed forces,” Owji said.