File photo shows an Iranian oil tanker sailing in international waters.
The director of Iran’s main insurance authority says the US ban on marine insurance coverage for Iran-bound oil tankers have saved the country 700 million dollars.
Mohammad Karimi, director of Central Insurance of the Islamic Republic of Iran, said on Monday that Iranian insurance firms have managed to provide the necessary coverage for the tankers.
“The illegal sanctions imposed on Iran’s insurance industry are ineffective, and domestic insurance companies have insured [oil] tankers and petrochemicals carrying vessels up to the highest international standards,” Karimi added.
“The sanctions have caused a big leap in Iran’s insurance industry and currently domestic insurance companies are faring well in insuring oil tankers besides refineries and power plants,” the official noted.
“Domestic insurance companies are ready to provide coverage to foreign tankers operating in Iranian waters after the necessary permit is obtained from Iran’s Oil Ministry and good negotiations are underway with the Oil Ministry to that effect,” he added.
Karimi also said a consortium of Iranian insurance agencies is providing P&I (protection and indemnity) insurance to Iranian tankers.
Under pressure from the United States, foreign ministers of the European Union (EU) approved new sanctions against Iran's oil and financial sectors last January.
The sanctions, which prevent the EU member states from purchasing Iran's oil or extending insurance coverage for tankers carrying Iranian crude, came into effect on July 1.
On August 1, the US Congress approved more illegal embargoes against Tehran, which seek to punish banks, insurance companies and shippers that help Tehran sell its oil.