Iran holding tanker as 'bargaining chip for disputed oil deal payment'

The National

Iran is holding a tanker as a “bargaining chip” on behalf of company involved in a dispute over an oil shipment, a group which monitors Tehran's efforts to evade sanctions has said. United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) said it was “highly likely” the Niovi had been seized on the direct orders of the regime and is being held after a subsidiary of Turkey's ASB group claimed a shipment of its oil was sold to a third party without its consent. The Niovi was seized on May 3 and had previously been shipping crude for ASB, which was hit with US sanctions after being accused of facilitating the sale hundreds of millions of dollars of oil for the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.