Monday, July 15, 2024

Tracking data indicates oil tanker held by Iran for over a year has reached international waters

Iranian Oil Tanker Seized by Iran Reaches International Waters – Tracking Data Shows

The Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker Advantage Sweet, which was held by Iran for over a year, has finally reached international waters after being seized in April 2023 amid tensions between Tehran and the United States.

The tanker was carrying $50 million worth of oil from Kuwait for Chevron Corp. when it was seized by Iran’s navy in the Strait of Hormuz, a vital waterway through which 20% of the world’s oil passes.

Tracking data analyzed by The Associated Press showed that the Advantage Sweet had been unloaded while in Iranian custody and was headed to Khor Fakkan in the United Arab Emirates, which is a common port of call for ships leaving Iranian detention.

The tanker’s release comes after an Iranian court ordered the U.S. government to pay more than $6.7 billion in compensation to a Swedish company that stopped supplying special dressings and bandages for a rare skin disorder following U.S. sanctions on Iran.

The court case was linked to the seizure of the Advantage Sweet, with Iranian officials initially claiming that the tanker hit another vessel, a claim unsupported by evidence. The vessel’s release also follows the recent election of reformist President-elect Masoud Pezeshkian, who has pledged to improve relations with the West.

The $6.7 billion compensation order was filed on behalf of 300 plaintiffs affected by the Swedish company’s decision to stop the supply, resulting in the deaths of about 20 patients suffering from epidermolysis bullosa, a genetic condition that causes painful blisters all over the body.

The release of the Advantage Sweet and the compensation order are part of a wider legal battle between Iran and the U.S., with each country facing lawsuits and claims for billions of dollars in damages.

The tanker’s release also comes as tensions continue to simmer in the region, with the U.S. Navy blaming Iran for past attacks on vessels and recent incidents involving Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The release of the Advantage Sweet marks a significant development in the ongoing tensions in the region and could signal a step towards de-escalation in the Iran-U.S. conflict.

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