ICYMI: Panama Reportedly Admits Complicity In Iran Sanctions Busting

(New York, N.Y.) — Following a multi-year effort by United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), pressure from Congress on the Biden administration to hold Panama and the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) accountable for helping the Islamic Republic of Iran evade U.S. sanctions is rising. AMP Administrator Noriel Araúz was reportedly summoned to the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where sources told La Estrella de Panamá that Araúz admitted knowledge that ships flagged by AMP are carrying Iranian oil.

“Panama faces a choice. Either Panama will take comprehensive and decisive action to end its partnership with Iran on oil smuggling, which is the economic engine for Tehran’s state sponsorship of terrorism, or it will suffer the consequences of its actions,” said UANI CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace. “The status quo is untenable, and responsible American policymakers will no longer tolerate Panama’s illicit partnership with Iran. Simply put, Panama is not an ally of the United States and is instead partnering with the worlds leading state sponsor of terror. If Panama and it’s AMP fails to immediately de-flag all vessels smuggling oil for terrorists, then the U.S. must impose crushing economic sanctions against Panama, recall its ambassador, and declare the duplicitous representatives of Panama in the United States persona non grata — including its ambassador and consul generals. Panama’s actions constitute a direct threat to international peace and security.”

According to UANI, nearly half of the 364 tankers transporting illicit Iranian oil fly the Panamanian flag. To counteract Panama’s behavior, UANI calls upon the U.S. to apply greater pressure on Panama – using the incentive of enhanced diplomatic cooperation and even foreign aid – to ensure it exercises the necessary due diligence to prevent vessels flying the Panamanian flag from facilitating the apparatus that funds Iran’s global terror networks.