The former kingpin of Tehran’s oil sanctions-busting programme successfully demanded the return of a consignment of disguised Iranian crude during a dispute over a ship-to-ship transfer off Oman involving a Thenamaris VLCC, US prosecutors claim.

Rostam Ghasemi, the late ex-oil minister who was said to go by the secret codename of “Roger”, said the operator of the 318,700-dwt Athina II (built 2005) needed to “cooperate” after mislabelled Iranian crude was discharged to the VLCC from a suspected shadow fleet tanker in November 2020, US court documents allege.