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Report: US concerned about China ships potentially transporting Iran oil

The U.S. government is concerned about Chinese ships potentially continuing to transport Iranian crude oil, violating U.S. sanctions in relation to Iran, Reuters reported, citing two administration officials.

The U.S. Treasury Department on Sept. 25 announced sanctions on subsidiaries of China COSCO Shipping, including COSCO SHIPPING Tanker (Dalian) Co. Ltd. and Cosco Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Seaman And Ship Management Co. Ltd.

Between Sept. 30 and Oct. 7, 14 COSCO SHIPPING Tanker (Dalian) ships turned off their automatic identification systems, enabling them to hide location data, Reuters reported, citing Refinitiv Eikon data.

The White House has warned China-based shipping companies against doing so, Reuters reported. Eleven out of the 14 ships have reportedly resumed sending location data since Oct. 9.

Meanwhile, COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) denied that any of its ships had switched off AIS.

U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear pact in 2018, and wants to reduce Iran's oil exports to zero.