Iranian Tankers Go Dark

2 hours ago, Marina Schwarz said:

No wonder Iranian media today are openly defiant.

They seem to have a bit of help right now from one particular frothing-at-the-mouth American.

Louis Farrakhan Leads ‘Death to America’ Chant on Solidarity Trip to Iran

Nation of Islam leader and prominent antisemite Louis Farrakhan chanted “Death to America” and claimed that “America has never been a democracy” on Sunday during a solidarity trip to Iran, ahead of the re-implementation of US sanctions this week.

According to Iran’s semi-official state news agency Mehr, Farrakhan said at a meeting with the Secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaei that America is conspiring against Iran.

“I understand how the enemies have plotted against the Iranian people and I would like to stay alongside you to stop their plots,” he said.

... In his remarks, he condemned the new American sanctions on Iran that will take effect on Monday. “Today, I warn the American government that sanctioning Iran is a big mistake,” he said.

In addition, he stated that African-Americans are part of Iran’s Islamic revolution.

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This is going to get interesting fast.

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34 minutes ago, Marina Schwarz said:

This is going to get interesting fast.

According to Iran, it's just going to be business as usual.  Meh.  Baghdad Bob is apparently alive and well these days.

NOI Leader Raps US Sanctions against Iran

Last Tuesday, Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh had played down US President Donald Trump's attempts to zero down Iran's crude exports, warning that his threats would only inflame the market.

"Sustainable and stable supply of the crude needed by customers is a feature of Iran and no country has the capacity to replace Iran's crude in the high-demanding global oil market," Zanganeh said.

He stressed that Iran's crude exports may not be stopped, adding, "Inflammation of the global oil market will continue until oil sanctions against Iran will be removed."

On Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif touched upon the issue before participating in a trilateral meeting with his Turkish and Azeri counterparts in Istanbul.

He downplayed the impacts of the US November-4 sanctions against his country, stressing that Washington's economic and political agenda against Tehran is doomed to failure.

"Nothing new is likely to happen on November 4 when the second phase of the (US) sanctions comes into effect," Zarif told reporters.

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2 hours ago, Marina Schwarz said:

https://www.bourseandbazaar.com/news-1/2018/11/3/iran-tankers-go-dark-to-keep-selling-oil

Finally some relatively solid data. No wonder Iranian media today are openly defiant.

"During the first half of October, we were able to verify 2.2 million barrels per day over a 13 day period [leaving Iran], but some others only got slightly more than half that amount as they do not use tools such as satellite imagery.” (Samir Madani from TankerTracker.com)

https://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Avoiding-detection-The-team-tracking-Irans-attempt-to-cloak-its-oil-exports-570236

If this is true, Iranian oil exports could still be at a much higher level than most analysts say. Iran's exports were supposed to have dropped from around 2.5 million barrels per day in April to roughly 1.6 million in October.

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One reason why oil was down despite the sanctions.

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Since the beginning of this discussion on this website, it has been considered that oil getting through was a given, meaning everyone expected it to happen.  What we have discussed most often, however, is the worst case scenarios, which nobody thought would actually become reality.  This is decidedly NOT a blockade; these are economic sanctions.  Much different creatures.

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9 hours ago, Dan Warnick said:

Since the beginning of this discussion on this website, it has been considered that oil getting through was a given, meaning everyone expected it to happen.  What we have discussed most often, however, is the worst case scenarios, which nobody thought would actually become reality.  This is decidedly NOT a blockade; these are economic sanctions.  Much different creatures.

Precisely correct. There is no port to port enforcement. Similar to the LNG situation in Asia, where US LNG can get shipped to S Korea, but reloaded to another vessel and shipped to China tariff free. Impossible to keep track of point of origin when so many transfers are happening with independent shippers.

At the very least, there is the policy barrier as a deterrent. Only solution would be a watchdog fleet in the persian gulf tracking tankers leaving Iran's docks.

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Excerpt from today's Press Release from U.S. Dept. of the Treasury

U.S. Government Fully Re-Imposes Sanctions on the Iranian Regime As Part of Unprecedented U.S. Economic Pressure Campaign

SHIPPING SECTOR

Among those in Iran’s shipping sector placed on the SDN List today are Iran’s national maritime carrier, the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), and oil transport giant National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), both of which were identified pursuant to E.O. 13599 for meeting the definition of the term “Government of Iran.”  In addition, these entities have been determined to be part of the shipping sector of Iran.  As a result, the knowing provision of significant financial, material, technological, or other support to, or goods or services in support of, these entities could be sanctionable. 

OFAC added to the SDN List 65 IRISL subsidiaries and associated individuals pursuant to E.O. 13599.  In addition, 122 vessels also were identified as property in which IRISL has an interest.

One IRISL subsidiary, Valfajr Shipping Company PJS, has been used regularly by the IRGC to transfer passengers, cargo, containers, and IRGC personnel from IRGC-controlled ports in Iran to major ports in the Persian Gulf region.

Another IRISL subsidiary, Hafez Darya Arya Shipping Company, has shipped cargo to at least one known cover company for Iran’s Defense Industries Organization (DIO).  DIO was previously designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 on March 30, 2007 for engaging in activities that materially contributed to the development of Iran's nuclear and missile programs.

In 2017, IRISL subsidiary Safiran Payam Darya Shipping Company shipped more than 136,000 metric tons of Iranian light crude oil from Iran to Syria.

Additionally, pursuant to E.O. 13599, OFAC identified 37 NITC-affiliated entities and vessels in which NITC has an interest.  Identifying information for another 52 vessels confirmed as being property in which NITC has an interest was updated as well.  Each year, these vessels move tens of millions of barrels’ worth of Iranian oil, as well as Iranian natural gas, which constitute a major source of revenue to fund the Iranian regime’s malign activities.  It is essential to close off this funding stream to Tehran. 

The Iranian shipping industry is reviving previously employed deceptive practices in an effort to obfuscate IRISL or NITC’s interests in vessels and other property.  Among the IRISL vessels identified today are four vessels that recently underwent name and partial ownership changes but that are still property in which IRISL has a blockable interest.  The global maritime industry should be on alert for Iran’s use of such tactics and make every effort to thwart Iran’s use of their jurisdictions to create front companies; to revoke their flags from IRISL and NITC vessels; and to deny other means that enable Iran to conceal its interest in the vessels.  For additional information related to Iran’s deceptive practices, please click here for FinCEN’s recent Iran Advisory.

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Excerpt from FinCEN Iran Advisory mentioned above:

Iran-Related Shipping Companies’ Access to the Financial System 

During previous periods of heightened sanctions pressure, Treasury identified Iranian or Iran-related companies using deceptive shipping practices to evade U.S. sanctions. As detailed in previous OFAC advisories and designation actions, these practices include: the use of falsified documents, the reflagging of vessels, and the involvement of third parties, such as brokers and trading companies, to mask the underlying payments and business activity with Iran. For example, in the pre-JCPOA period, Treasury identified shipping companies around the world that falsified documents to hide ships docking in Iranian ports and the accompanying trade-related payments. In addition, in the past, as the United States has added entities or individuals to OFAC’s SDN List, there have been instances where a vessel’s ownership or operation was transferred from a newly-designated person to a front company or other person acting for or on behalf of the designated person.

As the sanctions on Iran that were lifted under the JCPOA come back into effect following the -90- and 180-day wind-down periods, Iranian shipping companies may return to the use of these or other evasive practices. Financial institutions may see indications of these deceptive shipping 
practices in the information contained in international wires, payment requests, and letters of-credit. Documents may also be falsified, and include bills of lading and shipping invoices to-conceal shipping routes, embarkation ports, or shipping agents. Financial institutions may find-maritime databases and reports—such as those generated by the International Maritime Bureau or other available services—helpful when verifying trade-related documents. Financial institutions should be aware of changes regarding the issuing or writing of letters of credit and other trade-related financial transactions. Financial institutions should report those changes in their SAR-filings if the changes appear to be related to malign activity. In addition, among other deceptive-conduct, Iranian vessels may attempt to hide their origin and purpose by potentially fabricating vessel registration and flag credentials at ports of call and canal entrances. Malign Iran-related-actors and sanctioned entities engage in these activities to bypass financial institutions’ SDN filters-so they may evade sanctions. Financial institutions should continue to conduct appropriate due diligence to ensure they are not directly or indirectly providing services to sanctioned parties.

 

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17 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

They seem to have a bit of help right now from one particular frothing-at-the-mouth American.

Louis Farrakhan Leads ‘Death to America’ Chant on Solidarity Trip to Iran

Nation of Islam leader and prominent antisemite Louis Farrakhan chanted “Death to America” and claimed that “America has never been a democracy” on Sunday during a solidarity trip to Iran, ahead of the re-implementation of US sanctions this week.

According to Iran’s semi-official state news agency Mehr, Farrakhan said at a meeting with the Secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaei that America is conspiring against Iran.

“I understand how the enemies have plotted against the Iranian people and I would like to stay alongside you to stop their plots,” he said.

... In his remarks, he condemned the new American sanctions on Iran that will take effect on Monday. “Today, I warn the American government that sanctioning Iran is a big mistake,” he said.

In addition, he stated that African-Americans are part of Iran’s Islamic revolution.

Is Louis thinking of moving to Iran and taking up citizenship?  U.S. Law allows him the right to do this.  I'm not sure on this, but I think if he needs funding to help him on his way, I would bet there are people who would assist him in such an endeavor.

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4 hours ago, NatGasDude said:

Only solution would be a watchdog fleet in the persian gulf tracking tankers leaving Iran's docks.

Also, the article said, "The ships can now only be tracked manually using satellite imagery."

...

As if US agents haven't long since installed GPS trackers on each and every one of those vessels. LOL! 

Rest assured, the US knows exactly where each and every one of those ships is heading, and they are noting exactly where and to whom they are offloading that oil.  The US is now in the phase of letting Iran expose their neck.    

It makes for a cleaner kill.  

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Iran Shuts Off Oil Tanker Tracking System As US Sanctions Start

The US on Monday (Nov 5) is reimposing disciplinary measures targeting Iran's oil, shipping, insurance, and banking sectors in what US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called "the toughest sanctions ever placed" against Iran. In response, Tehran has reportedly turned off all oil tanker tracking systems as the sanctions take effect today.

Analysts at TankerTrackers.com, a watchdog that monitors production, refinement, shipping, and trading of crude oil on a global scale, revealed in late October all Iranian tanker vessels turned off their transponders to avoid international tracking for the first time since 2016.

“It’s the first time I’ve seen a blanket black-out. It’s very unique,” TankerTrackers co-founder Samir Madani told Sputnik News.

Madani said with the transponders turned off, the vessels can only be monitored using private satellite imagery. He believes that such a shift to lesser transparency is a ploy by Iran’s leadership to keep the international supply chains open amid US sanctions.

“Iran has around 30 vessels in the Gulf area, so the past 10 days have been very tricky, but it hasn’t slowed us down. We are keeping watch visually,” said co-founder Lisa Ward.

... According to TankerTrackers.com's research, there are currently six tankers with a total capacity of 11 million barrels moored offshore as floating storage, which allows Iran to continue deliveries.

 

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Continued from previous comment ^  ]

... As explained above, the Trump administration issued exemptions to its closest allies in Asia that will continue importing Iranian oil, thus making sanctions less severe than previously anticipated.

However, with new research from TankerTrackers.com and less severe than previously thought sanctions, this would mean tracking Iranian supply could be difficult, as oversupply conditions are expected to return in 2019.

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