US warns nations not to allow Iranian oil tankers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is warning foreign countries not to allow Iranian oil tankers into their territorial waters or ports.

The State Department says that such access may run afoul of U.S. sanctions and not only incur penalties but could result in catastrophic economic and environmental damage should an accident occur. That’s because insuring Iranian tankers is also a violation of the U.S. sanctions that came into force this week.

As major insurers withdraw their coverage for Iranian vessels to comply with the sanctions, the department said Wednesday that Iran would likely turn to Iranian insurance companies that will not be able to cover losses from liability for maritime accidents that often cost billions of dollars to clean up.

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