An oil tanker is seen off the port of Bandar Abbas, southern Iran. (AFP/Atta Kenare)
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Iran's main oil tanker firm NITC will struggle for some time to call at European ports, get foreign insurance and overcome obstacles under western sanctions, even after a top court has annulled its blacklisted status in the European Union.An interim deal between Iran and world powers signed in November has provided the Islamic Republic with some sanctions relief, helping to boost oil sales. NITC, sanctioned by both the European Union and the United States, contested the EU's 2012 blacklisting designation, arguing that the firm is privately owned by Iranian pension funds, whose beneficial owners are pensioners.NITC Managing Director Ali Akbar Safaie has been quoted by Iranian media in recent days as saying he hoped the firm would be able to return to European markets.With a fleet of 37 supertankers and 14 smaller tankers, NITC has an overall carrying capacity of around 86 million barrels of oil and has played a crucial role in keeping Iran's exports flowing to buyers, especially in Asia.Iran and the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China aim to reach a long-term deal by a July 20 deadline.
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