Despite sanctions, countries continue to buy oil from Iran

A gas flare on an oil production platform in the Soroush oil fields is seen alongside an Iranian flag in the Persian Gulf, Iran, July 25, 2005. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/File Photo - RTSS235
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TEHRAN – At least 12 Iranian oil tankers continue to transport oil to Asia and the Mediterranean despite US sanctions, according to an investigation by The New York Times.

More than 70 Iranian tankers have been tracked by The New York Times through satellite imagery and other resources.

After May 2, when sanctions against Tehran began, 12 of these ships were still supplying oil. Half of them transported oil to China, while others went to the Mediterranean Sea, possibly to Syria and Turkey.

The continued flow of oil shows the difficulty that the Trump government has in using sanctions in order to end Iranian oil exports following disagreements with its allies over Iran’s policy, the newspaper lamented.

According to former White House official Richard Nephew, the US government should not make threats to Iran unless it can put them into practice.

In 2015, the Obama administration, in cooperation with China, Russia and other countries, drafted an agreement aimed at restricting the capabilities of the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for the suspension of previously imposed sanctions.

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However, in 2018 President Trump decided to withdraw from the agreement and impose sanctions on Iran again, generating criticism from other countries.

The situation in the Persian Gulf and surrounding areas has deteriorated over the past two months after several oil tankers were subjected to attacks. The United States and its allies blamed Iran for the incidents, while Tehran denied its involvement.

The UK revealed last week that it would send a second warship to the Persian Gulf after Iranian patrol boats attempted to detain another tanker in the Strait of Hormuz.

Recently, the United States has restored economic sanctions against Iran and increased its military presence in the region in response to an alleged Iranian threat. Iran is the most powerful state in the Middle East and it opposes Israel. It is for this reason that the US is aggressively attacking Iran.

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