November 2020 Iran Tanker Tracking

The world’s flag registries – crucial links in the chain of ocean-going commerce – deserve credit for moving decisively to thwart Iranian shipping subterfuge.  As documented in UANI’s November 12 blog post, “Stop the Hop,” the list of responsible registries is long: Comoros, the Cook Islands, Gabon, Hong Kong, Liberia, Mongolia, Panama, Palau, Sierra Leone, St. Kitts & Nevis, Tanzania, and Tuvalu have all either deflagged tankers suspected by UANI of illicit carrying of Iranian oil, or launched their own investigations to corroborate.  However, there are some outliers who are failing to match their industry counterparts. In this category fall the flagging authorities for Cameroon, Djibouti, and Russia, which have all failed to act upon UANI’s meticulously researched data on extremely suspicious tanker movements.

In fact, several of the same tankers flagged by these non-receptive registries and cited by UANI, have reappeared in the Persian Gulf to continue their clandestine activities during November.

Djibouti and SEA BREEZE

SEA BREEZE (f/k/a FREE SEA) (IMO: 9257503), flagged by Djibouti, visited the Iranian port of Bandar Mahshahr on November 18, 2020 and the port of Bandar Abbas on November 29. The previous flagger of this vessel was Gabon, which responsibly made the decision to deflag SEA BREEZE following correspondence from UANI.  Despite three letters from UANI, however, Djibouti has not taken any action concerning this vessel.


SEA BREEZE at Iran’s Bandar Abbas port on November 29, 2020.

(Source: Sentinel Hub)

Cameroon and HURON

The oil/chemical tanker HURON (IMO: 9162928) remains flagged by Cameroon. HURON visited Iran’s Lavan Island port on November 5, and Tombak port in September. Likewise, UANI has flagged these illicit transfers for Cameroon’s flag registry on three occasions without action.

Vessel Details for HURON indicating the vessel is flagged by Cameroon (Source: MarineTraffic)

Russia and PERUN

The crude oil tanker PERUN (IMO: 9256860), flagged by Russia, engaged in an illicit ship-to-ship (STS) transfer with a vessel from Iran’s National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) between November 15 -23 in the Persian Gulf.  UANI has contacted the Russian flag registry regarding PERUN’s past behavior, which also includes an STS with a NITC vessel on October 10.