U.S. authorities received $110 million for a shipment of two million barrels of oil that was on the Achilleas tanker hijacked in February off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Liberian-flagged ship was stopped on suspicion of transporting raw materials from Iran under the guise of Iranian oil. U.S. prosecutors believed the cargo was on its way to China and that the ultimate beneficiary was the state-run Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which the U.S. considers a terrorist organization.
The proceeds of the sale were sent to a special bank account. It was supposed to be spent to satisfy lawsuits filed by U.S. citizens against Iran.
This is the second case in the last six months. Last October the United States sold 1.11 million barrels on four tankers bound for Venezuela. They managed to get 40 million for them, the money was sent to the same account.
Both cases were included in the statistics of the US Department of Energy as imports of Iranian oil. At the same time its official purchase was prohibited since 1991.
Earlier Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said that the country can sharply increase the oil production up to 6.5 million barrels per day if necessary. Thus, he commented on the possible removal of the US sanctions on the export of raw materials.