US shuts web­sites for ship­ping Ira­nian oil to Venezuela

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Ed Clowes

US AU­THOR­I­TIES have seized three web­sites that they say were used as a front for il­le­gal Ira­nian oil ship­ments to Venezuela worth mil­lions of dol­lars.

The Jus­tice Depart­ment al­leged that Mo­ham­mad Mada­nipour, an Ira­nian busi­ness­man, used front com­pa­nies Mobin In­ter­na­tional, So­har Fuel, and Oman Fuel to ar­range the ship­ment of more than a mil­lion bar­rels of petroleum from Iran to Venezuela on four cargo ves­sels this year.

The US in­ter­cepted the oil ship­ment last month and seized the cargo from all four ves­sels.

The con­fis­ca­tion rep­re­sents the gov­ern­ment’s largest-ever seizure of fuel ship­ments from Iran, while the web­sites now dis­play a page not­ing con­trol by the US gov­ern­ment.

Iran’s econ­omy has cratered since the on­set of the Covid-19 pan­demic, wors­ened by the his­toric fall in oil prices this year.

The Mid­dle East­ern coun­try is run­ning a bud­get deficit close to 50pc, and suf­fers from high un­em­ploy­ment rate and dou­ble-digit in­fla­tion.

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