Saturday, September 30, 2023

Iran summons Swiss diplomat over US seizure of Iranian crude oil that’s now at port in Houston

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran has summoned a Swiss diplomat over the apparent U.S. seizure of Iranian crude oil from a ship that sat for months off Texas, an official said Monday, as the oil now appeared to be moored in Houston.

The remarks by Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani mark the latest twist in the saga of the oil once aboard the tanker Suez Rajan, which had become mired in the wider tensions between the U.S. and the Islamic Republic. That’s even as Tehran and Washington work toward a trade of billions of dollars in frozen Iranian assets in South Korea for the release of five Iranian-Americans held in Tehran.

Iran has been trying to evade sanctions and continue selling its oil abroad, while the U.S. and its allies have been seizing cargoes since 2019 after the country’s nuclear deal allowing the trade collapsed.

Speaking to journalists Monday, Kanaani said Tehran had summoned the chargé d’affaires of the Swiss Embassy in Iran to express a “strong objection” over the U.S seizing the oil. Switzerland has looked out for America’s interests in Iran since the 1979 U.S. Embassy hostage crisis. …