US steps up Iran-bound cargoes despite sanctions
A vessel carrying soybeans has left the US for Iran for the second straight week, a Bloomberg report said on Tuesday, a day after Washington decided to reinstate all its sanctions against Tehran.
The bulk carrier with 56,951 tons of soybeans is headed for Bandar Imam Khomeini in Iran, having departed from the Port of Longview in southwest Washington on November 1, the financial news provider said.
It is the 13th cargo to depart for Iran since July when the US war with China began and looming American sanctions on Tehran forced some Asian and European companies to stop imports of Iranian crude.
China is the world’s top consumer of soybeans, but its trade standoff with the US has left American traders scampering for new customers.
Iran is among the countries which the US is courting for stepped-up sales of the oilseed. So far this year, the United States has sent 873,420 tons of soybeans to Iran, according to Bloomberg.
Iran’s energy, shipping and banking were the sectors which came under the “toughest sanctions ever” by the Trump administration on Monday.
The US Treasury imposed penalties on more than 700 Iranian and Iranian-linked individuals, entities, aircraft and vessels in the new sanctions.
They cover 50 Iranian banks and subsidiaries, more than 200 persons and vessels in its shipping sector, national flag carrier Iran Air, and more than 65 of its aircraft, according to a US Treasury statement.
In a gaffe which drew immediate ridicule, the US sanctions targeted the oil tanker Sanchi that sank off the coast of China in January and Tat Bank, which was dissolved in 2012.