Crippling US sanctions, reimposed following Washington’s 2018 withdrawal from a landmark nuclear deal, target Iranian oil and petrochemical sales in a bid to reduce Iran’s energy exports.
The vessel had been loaded with 145,000 tonnes of crude oil in Basra, Iraq and was destined for Aliaga in Turkey via the Suez Canal.
British maritime risk company Ambrey this week said the recently renamed tanker was previously prosecuted and fined for carrying sanctioned Iranian oil, which was confiscated by US authorities.
In September, the United States said it had several months earlier seized the Suez Rajan and its cargo of 980,000 barrels of crude oil.
The US Department of Justice said at the time that the oil on the Greek-managed tanker was allegedly being sold by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to China.
The Gulf of Oman, a key route for the oil industry that separates Oman and Iran, has witnessed a series of hijackings and attacks over the years, often involving Iran.
Shipping in the resource-rich region is also on heightened alert following weeks of drone and missile attacks in the Red Sea by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels.