Iran's Shadow Oil Fleet
By Micah Halpern
Friday August 27, 2021
Iran has a shadow fleet of oil tankers that is operating daily, shipping fuel to China.
The Iranians are, once again, skirting international sanctions. About 700,000 gallons of oil per day is shipped from Iran to China.
As part of its strategic support, China is assisting Iran in selling pirated oil. This Chinese-sponsored oil export allows Iran to maintain regime stability and inject foreign money into the state coffers.
China is also helping Iran operate its shadow fleet so that the tankers will not be detected.
This, for example, is how they do it: the tankers transmit their incorrect location into the Automatic Identification Systems, the AIS, required by international shipping laws. The tankers are repainted, and the tankers' names are changed to cover the real identity of the tankers.
In another example: the Iranian shadow fleet tankers change their flag with frequency. This move is backed by a global operational infrastructure set up by the Iranian Quds Force, which includes a huge array of straw companies whose tankers are registered as owned.
And this is how Iran manages to inject much-needed money into its coffers, to revive its economy and to continue its arms race to build offensive capabilities and complete its nuclear program – which is getting closer and closer to completion.
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