Tanker Tracking

In the wake of Hamas’ massacre of 1,200 Israelis on October 7, Iran has taken advantage of the ensuing chaos to escalate its policy of maritime aggression. Some of Iran’s and Iranian proxies’ recent bold maneuvers include: the hijacking of and hostage-taking aboard MV Central Park; attacking the Israeli-owned container ship CMA CGM Symi using a bomb-carrying Iranian drone, and; launching missiles at the USS Mason.

China is principally responsible for keeping the Iranian regime in business through oil purchases that have totaled over $80 billion since President Biden assumed office in January 2021 to September 2023.  This is despite U.S. sanctions that were reimposed in 2019 with the stated aim of reducing Iranian oil exports to zero. China has proven the savior of Tehran by continuing to import millions of barrels of oil every single day.

The barbaric atrocity inflicted by Iran-backed Hamas on October 7 has reignited the question of how to stop billions of petro-dollars flowing to the head of the snake in Tehran. Since the start of the Biden administration, Iran has exported well north of $80 billion worth of its oil.  Billions are, in turn, given to terror proxies. Hamas alone receives $100 million each year from its Iranian patrons, with horrific results.

“Is Malaysia helping Iran skirt oil sanctions?” this blog asked in July 2019.  Four years and a billion barrels of oil later, the Guardian has asked the same, highlighting striking discrepancies noted in UANI data between official records from China and Malaysia:

This month, Iran’s oil exports reached levels not seen since 2017. During the first 20 days of August, Iran dispatched an average of two million barrels of oil daily. This marks a substantial increase of more than 30% compared to previous months. The key to understanding this oil export surge lies in the relaxation of sanctions enforcement by the Biden administration, particularly to China. This approach has opened avenues for Iran to revive and significantly increase its exports.

The case of the Panama Maritime Authority’s re-flagging of vessels previously de-flagged by other nations due to Iran sanctions violations serves as a stark illustration of economic interests overshadowing ethical obligations. Notably, Panama is not only infamous for re-flagging but also for flagging vessels that violate sanctions. These decisions contradict the essence of the Registry Information Sharing Compact (RISC) agreement and, in turn, enable Iran’s illicit activities with devastating consequences that cannot be justified by financial gains.

The Iran Oil Show, once an authentically global gathering of multinational companies, is today a stark reflection of Tehran's mounting reliance on just two countries: Russia and China. The official handbook at this year's show – obtained by UANI in Tehran – lists barely a handful of non-Russian or non-Chinese foreign attendees.