Foreign-flagged oil tanker "Bella" carrying Iranian cargo bound for Venezuela.Department of JusticeWASHINGTON — The Justice Department said Friday t
Foreign-flagged oil tanker “Bella” carrying Iranian cargo bound for Venezuela.
Department of Justice
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department said Friday that federal agents seized a multimillion-dollar Iranian fuel shipment bound for Venezuela, in what it described as the largest-ever seizure of its kind.
The U.S., with the assistance of foreign partners, confiscated a total of 1.1 million barrels of petroleum from four foreign-flagged oil tankers, as Tehran and Caracas attempt to sidestep U.S. sanctions.
According to the Justice Department, after the seizure, “Iran’s navy forcibly boarded an unrelated ship in an apparent attempt to recover the seized petroleum but was unsuccessful.”
Footage released by Central Command, the U.S. military’s combatant command that oversees the wars in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, shows the failed Iranian operation.
“We are seeing more and more global shipping fleets avoiding the Iran-Venezuela trade due to our sanctions implementation and enforcement efforts,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus wrote in a statement. “The United States remains committed to our maximum pressure campaigns against the Iranian and Maduro…