Following on from an earlier about the sanctions busting bonanza enriching elements in the Islamic Republic, it seems the journalists have finally caught up with the tricks employed by trading companies supported by the said elements. Reuters has tracked sanctions busting shipments of Iranian Fuel Oil documented as Iraqi product to Singapore. With the advent of the AIS transponder system it is very difficult nowadays to hide ships' movements unless the ship owner is very dodgy.
Exclusive: How Iran fuel oil exports beat U.S. sanctions in tanker odyssey to Asia
SINGAPORE/BAGHDAD/TRIPOLI (Reuters) - At least two tankers have ferried Iranian fuel oil to Asia in recent months despite U.S. sanctions against such shipments, according to a Reuters analysis of ship-tracking data and port information, as well as interviews with brokers and traders.
The shipments were loaded onto tankers with documents showing the fuel oil was Iraqi. But three Iraqi oil industry sources and Prakash Vakkayil, a manager at United Arab Emirates (UAE) shipping services firm Yacht International Co, said the papers were forged.
The reporters have not caught up with the rest of cargoes shipped across to UAE and redocumented as UAE (Dubai) origin by mixing it with other oils (Fujaira and other storage locations).
Note Iraq barely has sufficient refining capacity (even less after the ISIS disaster) to meet its own requirement. The huge increase in its Fuel Oil exports is a ruse to assist the Islamic Republic evade sanctions. No wonder Pompeo feels complelled to act decisively to designate the IRGC as a terrorist organisation:
U.S. Pressures Iraq Over Embrace of Militias Linked to Iran
KUWAIT CITY — The United States’ attempts to isolate Iran, including by punishing Iraqi militias and politicians who are supported by Iranian officials, has deepened tensions not only between Washington and Baghdad but also within the Trump administration.
American military and intelligence officials said the increasing pressure on Iraq risks infuriating its Parliament, including politicians linked to Iran, which could limit the movements of the 5,200 United States troops based in Iraq.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, whose confrontational stand on Iran has already strained ties with European allies, is leading the push for Iraq to confront its fellow Shiite-majority neighbor. He arrived in the Middle East on Tuesday to speak with officials in Kuwait, Israel and Lebanon about containing Iran.
Under plans recommended by Mr. Pompeo and some White House officials, the State Department would designate Iran’s military Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a foreign terrorist organization. It would be a first instance of the United States designating a unit of another government’s military as a terrorist group. American officials said it could put United States troops and intelligence officers at risk of similar actions by foreign governments.
The plans also would designate some Iraqi Shiite militias as foreign terrorist organizations. As a result, the Iranian-trained militias — and Iraqi officials who support them — would be subject to new economic sanctions and travel restrictions.
The proposal was described to The New York Times on condition of anonymity by a half-dozen American and Iraqi officials and experts familiar with the sensitive diplomatic plans but not authorized to discuss them by name.
Mr. Pompeo confirmed Monday night that he was looking at various groups, including the Revolutionary Guards in Iran, after he was asked by The Times on the flight to Kuwait about the proposed designations.
“There may well be other organizations that we designate,” he said. The State Department designated an Iraqi group as a terrorist organization this month, despite opposition from the Pentagon.
The Iraqi militias — some of which were trained by the Revolutionary Guards — operate with Baghdad’s approval or financial support. Several are legitimate players in Iraqi politics. They are part of the Popular Mobilization Forces, an umbrella organization of about 50 paramilitary groups that fought against the Islamic State, a radical Sunni group, and are paid by the Shiite-dominated Iraqi government.