A non-profit organization denounced this Monday, Nov. 1, that the Iranian regime is using various methods to evade controls, doubled the sale of crude oil to China in violation of the sanctions imposed by the Trump administration that are still in force but that apparently President Biden is not enforcing them in his attempt to restore the 2015 nuclear pact.
United Against Iran Nuclear (UANI) released a report originally dated April 16 but updated last Monday. They indicate having detected a considerable increase in oil tankers over last year when the Trump administration was waging a maximum pressure campaign on the Iranian regime.
According to UANI, in November 2020, they detected around 70 oil tankers, and the number jumped to 149 in just eleven months.
Iranian oil tankers evade controls by constantly changing the physical appearance of their ships, the names of the companies, and their owners, including their banners or pennants registered with names of other countries to legitimately anchor in any port.
UANI published an extensive list of all the false names registered by the Iranian regime’s ‘phantom navy’ in the flag registration systems.
In one case, an Iranian oil tanker registered as ‘Bright Sonia’ under the flag of Panama was reported by UANI in October 2020 but sailed at least twice more until April 2021, carrying more than two million Iranian crude oil.
“We estimate this single vessel has filled regime coffers to the tune of $91,000,000. A big chunk of these proceeds will end up being disbursed for regime terrorist funding, Iranian proxy wars, and Iran’s malign intelligence activities,” UANI denounced in its report.
In addition, according to the Washington Free Beacon, these Iranian regime vessels also circumvent sanctions by turning off their onboard radars, essentially rendering these ships invisible, which is why they call them a ‘phantom navy.’
During the last three months, China imported nearly 800,000 barrels of Iranian crude oil per day, almost double what it illegally imported when Trump was president.
Syria, Venezuela, United Arab Emirates, and Russia are other destinations for Iranian oil.
In August, China imported 868,475 barrels per day of Iranian crude; in September, the figure was 739,215 barrels per day. It reached 586,933 barrels per day in October, although this figure is expected to rise by at least 100,000 as more data is collected.
In contrast, in August 2020, Iran exported 286,161 barrels per day to China, 640,327 per day in September 2020, and 420,491 barrels per day in October 2020.
The dramatic increase in the illegal sale of Iranian crude oil to China and other countries allied with the Islamic regime began in January 2021, when President Joe Biden took office and publicly declared his intention to re-establish diplomatic relations with the Iranian regime and even re-enter the Iran nuclear deal, which was initially signed by Obama and canceled by Trump.
Claire Jungman, the author of the UANI report, believes that the increase in illegal trade between China and Iran has to do with the U.S. government’s inaction.
“I do believe there is just a lack of enforcement and a lack of interest from the Biden administration to enforce these sanctions,” Jungman said.
A U.S. State Department official who spoke on anonymity with the Free Beacon said the U.S. government is aware of the dealings between the Chinese and Iranian regimes. The goal is to negotiate with all members of the Iran nuclear deal, which includes China.
China, the official said, “is an important trading partner for Iran, so of course our discussions with China on how best to get back into the JCPOA include discussions of sanctions enforcement.”
However, in public statements, the Biden administration has denied that it is willing to lift sanctions until the Islamic regime is committed to abandoning its nuclear plans.
The Iran nuclear deal
In 2015, former Democratic President Barack Obama signed the nuclear pact with Iran with which the United States granted $150 billion to the Iranian regime in exchange for giving up its nuclear ambitions while lifting all economic sanctions.
The Pact was heavily criticized because the Islamic authorities did not even allow U.S. officials to check Iran’s nuclear facilities.
In addition, the Obama administration at the time admitted that there was a possibility that Iran would use some of the money to build up its military.
In addition, the Obama administration at the time admitted that there was a possibility that Iran would use some of the money to build up its military and fund its terrorist causes.
When signing the pact, hundreds of thousands of Iranians chanted in the streets ‘Death to America’, ‘Death to Israel,’ which was seen as a humiliation towards the United States.
In 2018, Donald Trump refused to renew the pact, accusing Iran not only of failing to live up to its commitment but of using the money to acquire more uranium to advance its nuclear ambitions.
Trump said the Iranian regime ‘remains the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism,’ accusing it of providing aid to Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Hezbollah, and other terrorist networks.
The former president re-imposed tough economic sanctions on Iran, in addition to signing peace deals between Israel and several Muslim-majority countries, effectively isolating the Islamic regime whose economy was on the verge of collapse.