Sanctions under Biden: still inconsistent, still ambiguous, still in place
…Post-Trump, Iran crude exports are rising and exceeded 843,000 barrels per day in July, with more than 40% shipped to China, figures from United Against Nuclear Iran show. The New York-based non-governmental organisation has done more than the US State Department and Office of Foreign Assets Control to identify sanctions-busting activities so far this year, including publishing a list of the 130 or so ships involved. While crude has flowed into China and Syria via complex but visible maritime logistics networks, the Biden administration’s sanctions have targeted Mexican drug lords, Pakistani human traffickers and regimes in China, Burma, Syria, Belarus, Yemen and Nicaragua. There have been few direct measures taken against subterfuge oil trades and the fleet of tankers supporting them. In August, the US State Department blacklisted the very large crude carrier Oman Pride and sanctioned an Omani oil trader owner for shipping Iranian crude. The timing was peculiar: four weeks earlier, a seafarers’ union had resolved an abandoned vessel case involving the vessel and it was no longer trading.