According to data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), a cargo of 1.033 million barrels of Iranian crude oil arrived on American shores in March, making it the second shipment of Iranian oil to enter the US since 1991. Following the seizure by US officials of the Liberian-flagged vessel Achilleas, which was transporting Iranian petroleum, the cargo was noted in Energy Information Administration data issued late last week for the month.
The Energy Information Administration provided no other information about the Iranian cargo, and the agency could not be reached for comment outside of normal business hours in the United States. In the United States, Monday is a holiday. According to Energy Information Administration data, the US imported 3,000 barrels of Iranian crude and petroleum per day in October 2020, including oil that Washington had seized as part of its sanctions program. Refinitiv Eikon shipping statistics show that the Achilleas discharged its cargo in the United States. Galveston, a Gulf port, in March.
The seizure coincided with Washington’s strong economic sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, as well as the labeling of several Iranian groups as terrorist organizations, escalating decades of hostility between the two countries. Iran denies any wrongdoing on the part of the United States.
The seizure co-occurred as the United States imposed tough economic penalties on Iran over its nuclear program and the designation of several Iranian groups as terrorist organizations, increasing decades of animosity between the two countries. Since April, Iran has been in discussion with international powers about Tehran and Washington’s actions to return to full compliance with the 2015 nuclear accord on sanctions and nuclear activities.