Posted on November 05, 2018 by Ilias Kiritsis
As the United States reinstate the Embargo against Iran, Iranian Freighters have chosen to switch off their transponders in an effort to avoid international tracking systems.
In an attempt to keep the oil trade flowing, the vessels have now gone “dark”, and thus are only able to be tracked manually via satellite imagery.
This move on behalf of Iran is nothing new. This is the latest in a series of measures meant to counteract the reinstated trade embargo, imposed on Iran by the United States as of November the 5th.
Before the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal, Iranian Tankers would often go dark in an effort to avoid international tracking. Iran would also keep oil on huge tankers off the Gulf Coast in an effort to engage in ship-to-ship trade and thus circumvent sanctions.
According to TankerTrackers, there are currently six vessels off the coast of Iran, with an estimated total capacity of 11 million barrels, waiting to engage in quick trades.
Most countries however will think twice before engaging in such a deal. South Korea has already dropped its import of Iranian crude oil to almost zero, with Japan and Europe following in similar fashion.
Having said that, the EU has plans to create an SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) to protect EU companies wanting to buying oil, but not many companies will choose to face the threat of potential US sanctions, regardless of the opportunity. Airbus and Total have already announced plans to leave Iran.
The US president, Donald Trump, is convinced that these new sanctions will force Iran to accept his new terms in regard to a new, permanent agreement concerning Iran’s nuclear power capability.