Iran launched its first domestically-produced aframax oil tanker, Iranian media reported on Tuesday, sidestepping growing Western sanctions which have targeted oil exports and battered its maritime trade.
“The production of the aframax ship is the first export shipbuilding activity of Iran, and we must continue by attracting more customers,” said Mehdi Etesam, managing director of Iran Maritime Industrial Company SADRA, according to Fars.
It was not clear if further Iranian-made aframaxes were under order. Aframaxes can carry up to 700,000 barrels of oil.
The US Treasury Department imposed additional sanctions in March on SADRA, saying the firm had offices in Iran and Venezuela and was owned by Khatam al-Anbiya, an engineering company used by the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to fund its operations.
The Revolutionary Guard is a primary focus of US and international sanctions against Iran because of the central role it plays in Iran’s missile and nuclear programmes, its support for terrorism and its involvement in serious human rights abuses, the US Treasury said.