[Ed. – This is well done: the watchdog group, UANI, contacted the shipping company preparing to accept a load of crude from a third party that it was a prohibited shipment from Iran. This notification stopped a spot sale, ship-to-ship transfer at sea. U.S. sanctions make this possible. The third parties don’t want their banking and trading activities to come under U.S. Treasury review or be cut off.]
Iran is believed to have loaded a tanker with petroleum products from its Tombak Port before sending it to perform a ship-to-ship transfer with a Danish vessel operated by Celsius Shipping, which is partnered with the Singapore-based Maersk Tankers. United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), a watchdog group that monitors Tehran’s movements at sea, alerted Celsius and its partner mid-transfer that the other vessel, the Ocean Schooner, likely contained Iran’s heavily sanctioned crude oil.
The incident highlights the critical role non-governmental watchdog groups play in policing Iran’s illicit activity. While the United States and other countries maintain sanctions on the Iranian oil sector, these governments are not always capable of tracking Tehran’s day-to-day movements. UANI has emerged as one of the leading advocacy groups helping to enforce international sanctions by naming and shaming companies still doing business with Tehran.