us-sanctions 25 June 2020

OFAC sanctions IRISL and NITC captains for Venezuela shipments

The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (‘OFAC’) has placed the captains of five ships – CLAVEL, PETUNIA, FORTUNE, FOREST and FAXON, owned by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (‘IRISL’) and National Iranian Tanker Company (‘NITC)’ – used  to deliver fuel to Venezuela on its Specially Designated National and Blocked Persons List (‘SDN List’).

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, ‘The Treasury Department will target anyone who supports Iranian attempts to evade United States sanctions and who further enables their destabilizing behavior around the world. The Iranian regime’s support to the authoritarian and corrupt regime in Venezuela is unacceptable, and the Administration will continue to use its authorities to disrupt it.’

In a briefing, OFAC pointed out that ‘in November 2019, the Iranian government imposed strict rationing and a 50 percent price hike on gasoline. When the Iranian people protested the abrupt overnight cuts in fuel subsidies, the regime’s security forces brutally cracked down on the demonstrators, resulting in the killing of approximately 1,500 people, including women and children.

‘Now, despite the government’s decision to restrict the Iranian people’s access to vital fuel, the Iranian regime has sent five tankers carrying over 1.5 million barrels of gasoline and gasoline components to Venezuela, with plans to continue gasoline sales to the brutal and corrupt Maduro regime in the months to come. While the Iranian people are forced to ration their fuel supply due to the Iranian regime’s corruption, mismanagement, and global malign activities, the regime continues to support terrorist groups and allied dictators in Syria and Venezuela with the export of this critical product.’