Iran, Unable To Sell Oil, Stores It On Tankers
From Washington Post
Increasingly hard-pressed to find buyers for its petroleum, Iran has been routinely switching off satellite tracking systems on its sea-bound oil tankers for more than a month, in what U.S. officials and industry analysts describe as a cat-and-mouse game with Western governments seeking to enforce sanctions on Iranian exports.
The unusual tactic was begun in early April and affects a quarter of Iran’s tanker fleet, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), which has been monitoring the practice. The move, a violation of maritime law, is only modestly effective in cloaking 1,000-foot-long tankers as they ply the oceans in search of open ports and willing buyers. But it underscores Iran’s precarious position as it faces ever-tighter Western restrictions against its oil industry, which provides the bulk of export and government revenue.