Tanker unloaded on Mediterranean coast: Tehran

Cheryl Sanders
September 10, 2019

The seizure of the Stena Impero was seen as a tit-for-tat move after British authorities detained an Iranian tanker off Gibraltar in July on suspicion it was shipping oil to Syria in breach of European Union sanctions.

Tank Trackers site, which monitors the route of oil tankers, revealed that the tanker was spotted near Tartus, but it could not confirm whether the ship carrying 2.1 million barrels of oil was unloading.

Satellite images appeared to show the vessel, the Adrian Darya-1, off the coast of Syria on Friday.

The new images matched a black-and-white image that Bolton previously posted on his Twitter page.

On 15 August a court in Gibraltar released it when Iran gave assurances it would not sail to Syria, despite pressure from the USA for the ship's continued detainment.

The deal - formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - placed limits on Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.

Earlier in July, authorities in the British territory of Gibraltar seized an Iranian tanker.

In response to a question about the latest developments surrounding a British oil tanker seized in the Persian Gulf in July for violating worldwide maritime law, Mousavi said it is expected to be freed in the coming days.

The "Grace 1" oil tanker became the Adrian Darya 1' under the Iranian flag in mid-August.

"The Adrian Darya oil tanker finally docked on the Mediterranean coast. and unloaded its cargo", IRNA quoted the spokesman, Abbas Mousavi, as saying.

It estimates that Iran has managed to maintain limited flows to China, its biggest customer, and some to Turkey and Syria.

"We do of course express the view that timely and active cooperation is very important, and also the fact that time is very important", said Feruta after a meeting with the head of Iran's nuclear programme, Ali Akbar Salehi, in Tehran.

The US State Department has offered millions of dollars to the captain of an Iranian tanker to enter waters where the United States Navy could seize the ship, the Financial Times (FT) reported.

The US has said they would impose sanctions on any buyer of the oil.

U.S. prosecutors in federal court allege the Adrian Darya's owner is Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which answers only to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Suspicions are necessarily that Syria ended up getting the oil, both because they were who wanted it in the first place and because one of the last sightings of the tanker was near their coastline.

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