Iranian Ghost Armada Shipping Over 829,000 Barrels Of Illegal Oil To China Per Day
An Iranian "Ghost Armada" is shipping over 829,000 barrels of illegal oil to China per day which currently totals around 338,000 barrels of illegal oil, or $22 billion worth since January, 2021.
The illegal shipments were reported by a bipartisan group that tracks Iran's illegal tankers called United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI), who told conservative outlet Washington Free Beacon that the money is being used to fund terrorist activities around the globe.
"This money allows the Iranian regime to profit and in turn fund its terrorist activities around the world. There are clear ties between these vessels and sanctioned entities", UANI stated.
The report also says that Iran is turning off their trackers which violates maritime law and obfuscating their ownership in order to avoid sanctions.
"In our ongoing efforts to assist authorities, UANI has conducted investigations into the real owners of the Ghost Armada vessels" UANI stated. "Using official public records and other open-source data, our research to date has uncovered a web of front companies and facilitators that ultimately point back to Iran".
A spokesman from the U.S. State Department said that they are aware that China is importing illegal Iranian oil and told the Free Beacon news outlet that sanctions "remain in effect unless and until they are lifted, and we will address any effort at sanctions evasion".
"We have used our sanction authorities to respond to Iranian sanction evasion efforts, including those involving China, and will continue to do so as necessary" they added.
The UANI website states that in November of 2020 they had identified 70 foreign vessels "suspected of involvement in the illicit transfer of Iranian crude oil and/or petroleum products", but that just over a year later the list has grown to 182 suspected vessels.
UANI has dubbed these vessels a suspected 'rogue armada', both distinct but complimenting Iran's NITC tanker fleet and says that they are skirting U.S. sanctions and exploiting regulatory loopholes to ship 'millions of barrels' of oil from Iran.