IRGC contractor unveils 2nd long-range crude tanker

Iran’s elite military force the IRGC has unveiled a second long-range crude tanker built by its engineering and construction headquarters, a sign the force keeps expanding its growth capacities in defiance of bans imposed by the United States.

General Saeed Mohammad, the commander of IRGC’s Khatam Construction Headquarters, visited a shipyard in Bushehr on the coast of the Persian Gulf to unveil the large vessel on Tuesday.

Mohammad said the Aframax tanker, which is capable of carrying 113,000 metric tons of oil (750,000 barrels), has been built by IRGC-affiliated Sadra Company for delivery to a foreign customer through an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract.

He said the ship is the second of its type built by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps for delivery to foreign customers, adding that the two projects had earned the country nearly 120 million euros in hard currency revenues.

The commander said the new oil tanker will start sailing before the end of the current fiscal year in late March.

IRGC’s engineering and construction wing has played a major role in Iran’s infrastructure development in recent years.

The Khatam headquarters has been behind major projects in Iran’s transportation and energy sectors. Its maritime branch Sadra has been a key contributor to Iran’s push to indigenize the manufacturing of oil and gas drilling rigs. Those rigs have helped Iran’s Oil Ministry to significantly boost natural gas output from the sprawling South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf.

That comes despite the fact that the IRGC and its subsidiary companies have been blacklisted by the US government, a move which experts believe is meant to hamper the growing capabilities of the force and its role in the economic development of Iran.