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US finally unloads Iranian oil from seized tanker

The Iranian oil aboard the Suez Rajan sat unloaded off the coast of the United States for months amid threats from Iran, causing concern in Congress.
The Suez Rajan is pictured in this undated photo.

Seized Iranian crude oil was unloaded in the United States on Sunday, as tensions between Washington and Tehran remain high.

What happened: The Financial Times reported in April that the US Department of Justice seized the Marshall Islands-flagged tanker Suez Rajan. The tanker was carrying 800,000 barrels of Iranian crude oil to China and was brought to the US state of Texas in late May. US sanctions prohibit energy deals with Iran.

The oil sat in the Texas port near the city of Houston for months, however, amid Iranian threats. The Iranian navy confiscated the Advantage Sweet, a US-bound oil tanker, in the Gulf of Oman in April in an apparent retaliatory move. The Wall Street Journal and Reuters also reported that American shipping companies were reluctant to transfer the oil due to possible reprisals.

In July, a senior commander in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said last month that Iran would retaliate against any shipping company that offloads the Suez Rajan’s load.

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