War By Any Other Name: How Imperial Washington Has Criminalized The Iranian Economy

What makes the Grace I tanker saga so disturbing is how U.S. prosecutors argued that the IRGC had an interest in the Grace I oil tanker and the oil contained therein because the IRGC allegedly exercises control over Iran’s economy, including its oil sector. Whatever the legal merits of this argument, the U.S. government essentially signaled that it may regard the produce of Iran’s economy as “assets” in which the IRGC maintain an interest, and for which U.S. criminal forfeiture laws may apply. That is a terrible shot-across-the-bow intended to undermine what limited cross-border commercial ties Iran retains.