Confusion as Turkey says Iranian tanker now headed toward Lebanon
Turkey said on Friday that an Iranian tanker at the center of a confrontation between Washington and Tehran was headed to Lebanon’s waters after changing course several times, although Beirut said it was not informed of the plan.
According to Refinitiv tracking data, the Adrian Darya, formerly called Grace 1, made another U-turn on Friday and headed for Turkey’s Iskenderun port - 200 km (124 miles) north of Syria’s Baniyas refinery, the tanker’s suspected original destination.
When the ship was released off Gibraltar in mid-August after a five-week standoff, Iran assured the United Kingdom that the cargo was not headed to Syria.
The latest twist sets it in the direction of Syria, and raises the possibility that a ship-to-ship transfer of cargo may be attempted once it nears Lebanon’s coast.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday that despite the tracking data, the tanker was “for sure” not going to Turkish ports but rather toward Lebanese waters.
30th August 2019