ICYMI: 10 U.S. Senators Call On President Biden To Enforce Iranian Oil Sanctions

On Friday, 10 U.S. senators co-signed a letter to President Biden strongly urging him to enforce sanctions on tankers smuggling Iranian oil as well as the purchasers. Citing data from United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), the senators highlighted how the Biden Administration’s inadequate enforcement of U.S. sanctions since coming into office has resulted in a more than 40 percent year-over-year increase in Iranian oil exports and a 135 percent increase in the number of foreign-flagged vessels that comprise the Islamic Republic’s “Ghost Armada” from November 2020 to January 2022.

Every month, UANI’s Iran Tanker Tracker tracks Iran’s exports of crude oil and gas to countries around the world. By its estimates, three-quarters of Iranian oil exports– approximately 310 million barrels – were offloaded in Chinese ports last year. This has earned the Islamic Republic billions of dollars in revenues. 

“As a result of this surge in oil sales, Iranian currency reserves soared from just $4 billion at the end of 2020 to $31 billion at the end of 2021. These Chinese purchases give the Iranian regime a vital lifeline and flout U.S. sanctions with impunity. While your administration has reportedly warned China and other countries about the sanctions risks to their companies, these entities remain unpunished.”  

The senators also reminded President Biden that this increase in oil sales poses a national security risk affording “Iran more money to finance their terrorist activity and more time to develop a nuclear weapon.” President Biden was also reminded that Congress's enforcement of sanctions with bipartisan majorities is mandatory. UANI President David Ibsen echoed their concerns.

“The Administration claims that it has not eased sanctions against Iran, but its lack of enforcement is de facto sanctions relief. It is no coincidence that Iran’s malign behavior has increased as it succesfuly exports more oil.,” Ibsen said. 

To read UANI’s Iran Tanker Tracker resource, please click here. 

To read UANI’s blog post, Stop The Hop II: The Ghost Armada Grows, please click here.