WorldOil Iran calls U.S. oil tanker seizure an ‘act of piracy’ Iran said an attempt by the U.S. government to seize 2 million barrels of oil aboard a Greek-owned tanker was “an act of piracy,” as tensions between Washington and the Islamic Republic show little sign of easing under Joe Biden’s presidency. U.S. signals Biden’s tough stance on Iran with new oil seizure attempt The Department of Justice filed a case in a U.S. district court, seeking to seize the cargo on the Greek-owned Achilleas tanker. The U.S. alleges that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the IRGC-Qods Force covertly shipped the oil abroad. Iran says more oil exports are key to restoring U.S. nuclear deal Iran sent a clear signal to the Biden administration that it expects relief from sanctions, and the full restoration of the United Nations resolution that underpins the deal, before it starts scaling back its nuclear activities. Iran exporting more oil as U.S. sanction pressure fades With the U.S. campaign of “maximum pressure” now over, Iran’s oil customers may be growing a little bolder. Iran boosts oil production to pre-sanction levels President Biden is expected to seek the restoration of the nuclear accord, and officials in Tehran have expressed the hope he will ease restrictions on its petroleum sales. But for now, the sanctions are still in place and any buyer of Iranian crude would face the same legal and financial penalties. South Korea lobbies Qatar for aid in recovering tanker seized by Iran Choi traveled to Doha from Tehran after fruitless talks over the South Korean-flagged Hankuk Chemi, an oil-products tanker detained by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on Jan. 4. He also discussed billions of dollars of Iranian money trapped in South Korea due to U.S. sanctions. Iran seizes South Korean-flagged tanker in Persian Gulf The seizure follows a series of shipping security incidents in the Persian Gulf. The region and the Red Sea have been a hotbed for attacks on vessels in recent years, with tensions flaring between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Iran to invest $1.2B in bid to double oil production National Iranian South Oil Co. and Iranian Offshore Oil Co. will sign deals with domestic contractors covering onshore fields in Bushehr, Fars, Khuzestan, and Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad provinces, National Iranian Oil Co. said in a statement. Iran slashes gas exports to Iraq, threatening electricity shortages Iraq has been receiving 5 million cubic meters a day since Iran cut its daily exports from 50 million cubic meters two weeks ago, Ahmed Moussa, a spokesman for Iraq’s electricity ministry, said in an interview. All carrot, no stick: Biden seeks negotiations with Venezuela’s Maduro and his allies The Biden administration signaled an intent to push for free and fair elections in Venezuela, offering sanctions relief in return. Maduro’s foreign backers, including Russia, China and Iran, are expected to play a role, as will Cuba, which is keen to improve relations with the U.S.