US imports Iranian oil in March despite sanctions: EIA data

The cargo is only the second oil import by the United States from Iran since late 1991, data on EIA's website showed. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE (REUTERS) - A cargo of 1.033 million barrels of Iranian crude oil was recorded as landing on US shores in March, data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed, the second shipment of Iranian oil to the United States since 1991.

The cargo was registered in EIA data, released late last week, covering the month following the seizure by US authorities of the Liberian-flagged Achilleas tanker, which was transporting Iranian crude.

The EIA gave no other details on the Iranian cargo, and the agency could not be reached for comment outside of US office hours. Monday is a holiday in the United States.

The United States last recorded Iranian crude and petroleum imports of 3,000 barrels per day for October 2020, EIA data showed, also oil Washington had seized under its sanctions programme.

Refinitiv Eikon shipping data showed the Achilleas tanker discharged its cargo at the US Gulf port of Galveston in March.

The seizure was in line with tough economic sanctions imposed by Washington on Teheran over its nuclear programme and the US designation of a number of Iranian groups as terrorist organisations, continuing decades of rancour between the two nations.

Iran rejects US accusations of wrongdoing.

Iran has been in talks with world powers since April, working on steps that Teheran and Washington must take on sanctions and nuclear activities to return to full compliance with the 2015 nuclear pact.

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