Lankford accuses Biden administration of allowing Iranian tanker to offload oil in Gulf

Tanker Suspected Of Carrying Iranian Oil Offloads Near Texas |


Oklahoma U.S. Sen. James Lankford wonders why the Biden administration is allowing an Iranian tanker to offload its oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Can the Biden Administration explain why an Iranian tanker is offloading in the Gulf of Mexico or why U.S. tax dollars are concurrently heading to Tehran?” questioned the Senator in a recent Facebook posting.

He went on in a release to contend the Biden Administration is encouraging Iran to get around sanctions to offload oil near Texas, stating it is sure to lead to an escalation in tensions between the U.S. and Iran. Lankford pointed out that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard already warned that those involved in the offloading from the Suez Rajan “should expect to be struck back.”

Sen. Lankford charged that the tanker’s arrival in Texas was likely the result of a deal between the Biden administration and the owners and operators of the tanker. The U.S. had seized the tanker in April of this year.

The Suez Rajan, according to an FT report from June, had received a license from the U.S. Treasury Department to import Iranian crude into the United States. Its cargo is some 800,000 barrels of crude and, per an unnamed former member of the Biden administration, its arrival in Texas was likely the result of a deal that got struck between the administration and the owners and operators of the vessel.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee recently voted to pass a bipartisan bill introduced by Senator Lankford  and Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) to crack down on ships disabling and spoofing their transponder equipment to evade export controls and international sanctions, including sanctions againstIran and Russia.

“The Iranian regime continues to evade international detection efforts as they sneak their oil on shipping vessels to nations like China and Russia against US sanctions,” said Lankford. “We should support Customs and Border Protection and other federal agencies as they set up new, innovative methods to find and detect illicit items. We can and should keep bad actors from hiding their shipments and evading vessel identification efforts.”

Lankford is a co-founder and co-chair of the Senate Abraham Accords Caucus, and earlier this year, he introduced two bills countering Iran’s global aggression. The Deterring Iranian Support for Russia in Ukraine and Pre-empting Terrorism (DISRUPT) Act puts pressure on Iran for their military partnership with Russia, and the Sanctioning Transfers and Outbound Products to (STOP) Iran Act will prevent American products from enabling Iranian terrorism.