Originally appeared at DWN, translated by Karin exclusively for SouthFront
Saudi Arabia has apparently banned its territorial waters for Iranian oil shipments. As well the ports of Bahrain, according to this, are no longer to be approached by ships that are carrying Iranian oil. This is apparent from a newsletter from an insurance company and has not been officially confirmed.
Saudi Arabia has taken action against its rival Iran. As the Financial Times reports, the country has banned its territorial waters for Iranian oil shipments. Ships of the neighboring country are not allowed to call into Saudi ports any more. As a source a newsletter of an insurance company serves, which was sent around in February. According to it, it prohibits access for ships that have Iranian oil on board and also applies for the waters of Bahrain. The letter of the insurance company supposedly also states that ships, which have been operating in Iranian ports, have to get a special permission from the authorities for transit.
Officials have not yet confirmed the sanction. Neither the Saudi oil company Aramco nor the state shipping company have spoken to the Financial Times. Iranian officials had expressed concern about the circulation of the newsletter. The measures would interfere with the sale of oil.
While Saudi Arabia and Bahrain own only few shares in the Persian Gulf, Riad does have a stake in a major oil storage facility in the Mediterranean, to which Iran previously had no access. The pipeline of Arab Petroleum Pipeline Company that can transfer oil from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean, Iran is not allowed to use. In this project Saudi Arabia also owns shares.
Although no official position of the Saudi government exists, the mere rumor of the ban seems to be working. “It is considered an incalculable risk. No one wants to jeopardies its relations with the Saudis,” said one shipbroker quoted by Financial Times. Saudi Arabia had announced last Friday that it would agree to a long discussed limitation of oil production only, if Iran is bound by the Agreement as well. Iran rejected the demands and emphasized that they would move up production to at least to the extent that it had been before the start of Western sanctions.