US blacklists sprawling sanction-busting network tied to Turkish energy conglomerate

Lloyd's List

…The US has been tightening the noose around Iran’s oil exports in recent months, and the sanctions announced today could deal a serious blow to its subterfuge trade, according to US monitoring group United Against Nuclear Iran. “The allegations against ASB Group and its affiliates were colossal, unprecedented and supported by reams of incriminating correspondence. With today’s action, the treasury has taken a giant stride in thwarting the IRGC’s illicit oil exports,” said UANI research director Daniel Roth. “Nonetheless, further investigations into ASB’s worldwide presence, links to major oil giants, as well as Mr. Ayan’s political connections to regime elites — including former oil minister Rostam Ghasemi, who died today — are clearly warranted.” According to UANI, ASB also has ties to the very large crude carrier Rider 1 (IMO: 9153525), formerly known as Oman Pride. The group claims that ASB subsidiary Baslam was involved in facilitating a ship-to-ship transfer with Oman Pride in 2020, citing an alleged leaked email. The large tanker was indirectly involved in hostilities between the US and Iran last year when it transferred a cargo UANI says was Iranian crude to two now recycled tankers, Gala (IMO: 9192260), formerly known as Winsome, and Sothys (IMO: 9253064). It is believed the US State Department sought to seize the cargo on both ships, but Iran hijacked the vessels before it was able to secure the oil