Highly dependent on petroleum exports, the Iranian economy is prospected to contract by 3.6 percent in 2019 with the reimposition of the U.S. sanctions, while its daily oil export dropped from 2.7 million barrels to 1.7-1.9 million barrels by September 2018.
Iran has more than 50 tankers, but needs them for both transporting oil and storing unsold stocks in its territorial waters - given its limited onshore storage capacity.
The source added that the administration of President Donald Trump was concerned that if it pushed for a complete and immediate shutdown of Iran oil purchases, it would cause a large rise in prices on the world market. The source did not provide further details.
The owners of the vessels, who were listed in the British Virgin Islands, could not be contacted. The Trump administration on 4 March chose to end preferential trade treatment for India - an arrangement that allowed for duty-free entry of up to $5.6 billion worth of Indian export products into the US.
A U.S Treasury spokesperson said: "We intend to fully enforce these sanctions and we encourage the cooperation and compliance of our allies and partners". Some officials have said that there are a great number of countries that are not being put off by US sanctions.
With overflow of defense know-how, many other non-defense problems and deficiencies would be resolved, he said adding that the Iranian technicians and experts of the defense sector are increasingly called on to cooperate with the auto making industry.
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The company also reassured its players that they are on their side and will try their best to find a reasonable solution.
It is believed that more than 15 Iranian tankers are coming up to 20 years old.
India has been allowed by Washington to continue to buy about 300,000 bpd oil or 9 million barrels in a month till early May.
Greece and Italy were not buying any Iranian oil, Iran's oil minister, Bijan Zanganeh, was quoted as saying in February. "This brings the total number of Iran-related sanctions targets under this Administration to 927 entities, individuals, vessels, and aircraft", she said.
And with few buyers now willing to take all the commercial risks involved in oil sales, Iran is also having to cover the shipment of cargoes, including securing insurance in most instances, shipping sources said.
He said these tankers can no longer be insured by global companies and are likely to be insured by Iranian firms.
Brian Hook, the State Department's special representative on Iran, on March 13 reiterated the US policy, telling an industry conference in Houston that Washington was committed to bringing Iranian crude exports to zero.
"Banks will not engage when you mention the Iran word".