Assessment: Experts say the Biden administration is already tacitly allowing these sales to increase by not enforcing sanctions still in place—giving the Iranian regime a critical financial lifeline as its economy teeters on the brink of collapse …
Illicit Iranian oil sales to China have soared in recent months as the Biden administration attempts to reenter the 2015 nuclear accord, raising concerns from Iran experts that the United States is turning a blind eye to sanctions violations in a bid to entice Iran back to the bargaining table.
China imported nearly 800,000 barrels of Iranian crude per day on average during the last three months, almost double the amount it was illegally buying from Iran during the same period last year when the Trump administration was pressuring Iran with a crippling sanctions campaign. The increase comes amid an effort by China and Iran to boost diplomatic ties and force the Biden administration into removing sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
“Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, 6 also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops—the many nations with you.” Ezekiel 38:5
Iran has also been building out a large “ghost armada” of ships that illegally transfer oil to China, Syria, and Russia, among others, and evade sanctions by turning off their onboard transponders, essentially making these ships invisible. The number of these ships known to be in operation has increased in recent months, according to research conducted by United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), an advocacy group that tracks Iran’s monthly oil exports and shipping industry.
China’s importation of Iranian oil has drastically increased since January 2021, according to experts tracking the numbers, and has coincided with the Biden administration’s efforts to revive nuclear negotiations with Tehran.
The United States has promised to waive sanctions on Iran that were imposed by the Trump administration, including those on its oil trade, if Iran agrees to return to the deal.
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