Greek shipper pleads guilty to smuggling Iranian crude oil and will pay $2.4 million fine
A Greek shipping company has pleaded guilty to smuggling sanctioned Iranian crude oil and agreed to pay a $2.4 million fine, newly unsealed US court documents seen Thursday by The Associated Press show.
The now-public case against Empire Navigation, which faces three years of probation under the plea agreement, marks the first public acknowledgement by U.S. prosecutors that America seized some 1 million barrels of oil from the tanker Suez Rajan.
The saga surrounding the ship further escalated tensions between Washington and Iran, even as they work toward a trade of billions of dollars in frozen Iranian assets in South Korea for the release of five Iranian Americans held in Tehran . The court filings also shed light on the covert world of Iranian crude oil smuggling in the face of Western sanctions since the collapse of its 2015 nuclear deal — an operation that has...