Iran Oil Tankers Renamed as NITC Adopts Tanzania’s Flag
NITC, an oil-tanker company owned by Iranian pension funds, renamed at least 10 of its vessels and switched them to a Tanzanian flag amid increasing curbs on transactions with the Persian Gulf nation.
NITC renamed five very large crude carriers, each holding about 2 million barrels of oil, and five Suezmaxes, hauling 1 million barrels, according to the Equasis shipping database maintained by the European Commission. Ownership was switched from NITC to new companies operating from the same address in Tehran and NITC remains the operator, the data show. All the ships were previously registered in Malta or Cyprus.
A full European embargo on Iranian crude exports, which starts July 1, extends to insuring vessels that carry the oil. Twenty-five NITC tankers are being used to store crude, the Paris-based International Energy Agency said June 13. The U.S. and Europe said Iran’s nuclear program is aimed at developing atomic weapons while the government in Tehran says it is for civilian purposes.
Habibolah Seyedan, NITC’s commercial director, was unavailable for comment, said a person who answered a call to his office today. The company lists 39 tankers on its website. Philtex Corp. operates the administrative office of the Tanzania Zanzibar International Register of Shipping from Dubai, according to the register’s website. A message to the listed e- mail address for enquiries wasn’t immediately answered.
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