MNA – Three international companies have filed a complaint against US, noting that they are the owner of the cargo that was seized by the United States and that the tankers were not heading to Venezuela.
The US announced last month the seizure of 1.116 million barrels of fuel, claiming that it has been Iranian fuel destined for Venezuela.
In the Tuesday filing with the US District Court for the District of Columbia, United Arab Emirates-based Mobin International Limited said it was the owner of the cargo aboard the Bella and Bering tankers, UK-registered Oman Fuel said it owned the cargo aboard the Pandi and Luna tankers, and Oman-registered Sohar Fuel said it part-owned the cargo aboard the Luna, according to Reuters.
The companies said they had sold the cargoes onwards to United Arab Emirates-based Citi Energy FZC, but payment was due upon delivery, which was disrupted by the seizure.
“Therefore, Claimants Mobin, Oman Fuel, and Sohar Fuel retain a financial stake in those agreements and have the immediate right to title, possession, and control of the Defendant Properties,” the companies wrote.
The companies also disputed the assertion that the shipments were bound for Venezuela.
“At the time they were seized, the Defendant Properties were destined for Trinidad for sale to customers in Peru and Colombia,” the companies wrote in the filing.
Iran had earlier termed the confiscation as psychological war, hinting that neither the ships nor their flags have been Iranian. Meanwhile, Tehran and Caracas have established close cooperation in recent years as both countries are under unilateral US sanctions. Iran publicly sent five oil tankers to Venezuela in May 2020 to deliver the required fuel to the sanction-hit country. Iranian officials have warned against US attempts against free trade between independent countries.