“Tit-for-tat” (You steal our oil, we steal yours):
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Another interesting fact about the “Suez Rajan” found in FT (behind paywall):
The US interest in the vessel arose because the ship is owned by Fleetscape, an affiliate of US-based Oaktree Capital. That contrasts with the so-called “ghost fleet” of vessels usually used to move Iranian oil. Those ships’ ownership is shrouded in secrecy, making it difficult to bring claims.
PS> Sanctions against Iranian oil shipments are a unilateral US action, not UN or EU imposed.
Suez Rajan has gone “dark” for the last week, or more:
The last signal from the suezmax tanker Suez Rajan was seen on Saturday off Madagascar. The ship had been in limbo off Singapore for more than a year amid a controversy over a suspected Iranian cargo. Photo: VesselsValue
Source: Tradewinds, 28 April 2023. UPDATED 1 May 2023 8:02 GMT (Behind pay wall)
One more tanker hijacked by state sponsored “pirates.” This time an unladen tanker:
Speculation surrounds second Iranian tanker seizure - Splash247)
The “official” reason:
Tehran’s Public and Revolution Prosecutor’s office announced on Wednesday that the Niovi had been seized because of a private complaint and a subsequent order by relevant judicial authorities.
Commenting on the incident,
TankersTrackers.com said that “given the tanker’s history of receiving Iranian oil during the sanctions era as well as being currently empty of cargo, we believe today’s actions were entirely staged.”
Legal reports show that
Niovi has been at the centre of a legal battle over the ownership of oil cargo discharged in China. According to Stephenson Harwood’s commentary on a 2021 English court judgment, at least five distinct parties claimed to be entitled to oil released to shore tanks in China.
PS> “Sanctions era” refer to when sanctions were UN approved and universally applied. (Lifted 2015)
"In November (2018), Washington stepped up the pressure, imposing sanctions on Iran’s oil exports and energy sector" (Source: What sanctions did Trump slap on Iran? | Hassan Rouhani News | Al Jazeera
Six days ago the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy seized Marshall Islands-flagged suezmax tanker
while it transited international waters in the Gulf of Oman in retaliation for a Greek-managed tanker Advantage Sweet Suez Rajan being taken by US authorities for carrying Iranian oil. Greek authorities had issued a warning, that Greek shipping was at an increased risk from Iran after the detention of the Suez Rajan .