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Senators demand Biden allows DHS to enforce sanctions against Iran

Iran has unlawfully seized at least five commercial vessels over the past two years, the U.S. Navy said, with two of the most recent seizures occurring within the past month.

Published: May 9, 2023 8:33am

A bipartisan group of a dozen senators is demanding the Biden administration to allow the Department of Homeland Security to enforce sanctions against Iran by seizing oil and gas shipments from the country as Tehran is ramping up seizures of foreign oil tankers. 

Iran uses money from oil sales to fund corrupt regimes and terrorist groups, according to U.S. officials, and the senators said in a recent letter to Biden: "Enforcement of sanctions against Iranian petrochemical and petroleum sales will defund terrorists’ intent on harming the United States and our partners."

Iranian oil exports increased by 35% from 2021 to 2022, but for the past year Homeland Security Investigations, the main federal agency for oil sanctions, has been unable to seize Iranian oil shipments. due to "policy limitations" issued by the Treasury Department, the senators also said.

The senators sent the letter on April 27, and Reuters reported the next day that maritime security company Ambrey said the U.S. confiscated an Iranian oil tanker several days earlier.

Meanwhile, Iran has unlawfully seized at least five commercial vessels over the past two years, the U.S. Navy said, with two of the most recent seizures occurring within the past month.

Madeleine Hubbard is an international correspondent for Just the News. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

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