Tehran is seeking to make up for lost trade to Europe following the lifting of EU sanctions imposed in 2011 and 2012, which deprived it of a market that accounted for over a third of its exports and left it relying completely on Asian buyers.
Iran has 55 to 60 oil tankers in its fleet, a senior Iranian government official said. He declined to say how many were being used to store unsold cargoes, but industry sources said as many as 27 tankers were parked in sea lanes close to terminals, including Assaluyeh and Kharg Island for this purpose.
Asked how many tankers were not seaworthy and needed to go to dry docks for refits to meet international shipping standards, the senior official said: "Around 20 large tankers ... need to be modernized."
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