The United States announced Thursday that it has earned more than forty million dollars from reselling Iranian oil that was seized from four tankers bound for Venezuela.
Last August, Washington announced the seizure of 1.1 million barrels of oil that was to be sold to Venezuela for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, which Washington considers a terrorist organization.
“We can now say that the United States sold this oil and delivered it” to a third party, Deputy Attorney General John Demers said during a conference call.
“We intend to transfer the proceeds of the sale into a fund for American victims of terrorism,” he added.
“We estimate that the amounts verified amount to more than 40 million,” said the attorney in charge of the case, Michael Sherwin, in the largest seizure carried out by the United States so far.
Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves, but its production has collapsed and fuel is running out.
US sanctions imposed on the regime of President Nicolas Maduro have forced it to turn to allies like Iran.
However, in August Tehran denied ownership of the cargo ships that were intercepted and made it clear that it had “nothing to do” with the shipment.
Last week, the US government announced new sanctions against 11 companies and five people linked to Iran’s petrochemical sector.
As the US presidential election, scheduled for November 3, approaches, the Donald Trump administration is working to increase sanctions against Iran.
Since his withdrawal in 2018 from the international agreement that was supposed to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons, the US president has reinstated and then tightened all US sanctions, especially the embargo on Iranian oil.