U.S. Warns Tuvalu Over Reflagging Iranian Oil Tankers

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22 tankers allegedly registered in Tuvalu

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Aug. 13, 2012) – A prominent U.S. lawmaker has asked Tuvalu to stop reflagging Iranian oil tankers and warned its government of the risks of running afoul of U.S. sanctions.

The European Union last month imposed bans on Iranian oil imports and insurance for vessels carrying Iranian oil as part of measures aimed at ending Tehran’s nuclear program.

The United States has new economic sanctions that have curbed Iranian oil imports by most other major nations.

Howard Berman, of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, says as many as 22 ships owned by the National Iranian Tanker Company have been registered in Tuvalu.

He says reflagging the tankers could be deemed a sanctionable activity under U.S. rules and has asked Prime Minister Willie Telavi to cancel the registry of all such vessels.

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