Released Iranian Oil Tanker ‘Seen Off Syria’

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The Iranian oil tanker at the centre of an international incident has been sailing just off the Syrian coast, satellite images appear to show.

The Adrian Darya-1 was seized by Gibraltar in July with the aid of British forces over fears it was bound for Syria, violating EU sanctions.

It was eventually released after assurances were given that it would not head for the war-ravaged country.

Read Also: Gibraltar Court Rejects US’ Last-minute Request, Orders Release Of Iranian Tanker 

But images released on Saturday seemed to show it two nautical miles offshore.

The images, from a United States Maxar Technologies, appeared to place the tanker very close to the Syrian port of Tartus on September 6.

The UK’s Foreign Office in a statement called the reports of the tanker’s location “deeply troubling”.

A spokesperson said that if Iran had broken its assurances, it would be “a violation of international norms and a morally bankrupt course of action”.

US National Security Advisor, John Bolton, tweeted that anyone who believed the ship was no longer headed for Syria was “in denial”.

“Tehran thinks it’s more important to fund the murderous Assad regime than provide for its own people,” he said, alongside another satellite picture. “We can talk, but #Iran’s not getting any sanctions relief until it stops lying and spreading terror!”

There is however no confirmation that the ship is unloading its cargo of 2.1 million barrels of Iranian crude oil.

Neither Iran nor Syria have commented.

The ship, originally known as Grace 1 when it was detained off the British territory in July, has caused a major diplomatic spat between Washington and Tehran.

British marines had helped Gibraltar authorities detain the vessel, partly drawing the UK into the row.

The United States made an official request to seize the ship in August, but the courts in Gibraltar denied it.

The Iranian tanker was seized because it was suspected of heading to Syria, which would breach EU sanctions on that country.

The Gibraltar authorities freed the vessel on 15 August after receiving assurances from Iran that it would not discharge its cargo in Syria.

BBC

 

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