Iran Denied Revenues From Oil Aboard Vessel Identified By UANI

SUEZ RAJAN Remains Laden With Illicit Cargo One Year After UANI Action

(New York, N.Y.) — The Marshall Islands-flagged SUEZ RAJAN remains laden at sea with approximately one million barrels of Iranian crude oil one year after United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) detected the vessel engaged in a ship-to-ship (STS) transfer of Iranian oil with the Panama-flagged VIRGO. The oil was destined for purchasers in China before UANI’s discovery and public intervention, which effectively stranded the cargo and denied Iran its expected revenue from this oil smuggling operation.                                 

Los Angeles-based private equity firm Oaktree Capital Management, its U.K.-based subsidiary Fleetscape, and Greece-based Empire Navigation committed themselves to a full investigation and cooperation with U.S. authorities. UANI has called for those findings to be made public and for the vessel to be diverted to a U.S. port for appropriate enforcement proceedings and appropriate administration of the oil. Furthermore, UANI CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace calls on the smugglers associated with the SUEZ RAJAN to admit their culpability.  

The SUEZ RAJAN and VIRGO used several deceptive shipping practices to hide the origin of the oil, including manipulation of their Automatic Identification System (AIS) data, the most sophisticated means of masking the origin of Iranian oil products. 

UANI has detailed the tactics used by Tehran and its global fleet of foreign-flagged vessels to disguise and smuggle illicit oil in its report, Oceans of Deceit: Iran's Deceptive Shipping Practices and Exploitation of the Maritime Industry. Other than AIS manipulation and STS transfers, vessels have been known to make alterations to their physical identities; carry falsified documents, including bills of lading, certificates of origin, invoices, packing lists, proofs of insurance, and lists of last ports of call; transmit, broadcast, display, or otherwise engage in the misuse of Flag details; and engage in flag hopping between flag states that lack the resources or the will to enforce international law effectively.  

To read UANI’s report, Oceans of Deceit: Iran's Deceptive Shipping Practices and Exploitation of the Maritime Industry, please click here. 

The Biden administration has selectively enforced U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil, allowing the Iranian regime to capture tens of billions of dollars in revenues that can be used to strengthen its terrorist proxy forces, its military, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and entities overseeing human rights abuses against the Iranian people. It is essential that the SUEZ RAJAN be diverted to a U.S. port immediately and for its owners and operators to be held accountable for participating in Iran’s sanctions evasion schemes.