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Iran oil tanker sought by US seen off Syrian coast

Gibraltar released the Adrian Darya 1 tanker in mid-August after Iran promised it would not discharge its 2.1 million barrels of oil in Syria. The vessel was detained for weeks on suspicion of violating EU sanctions.

Iran's Adrian Darya 1 oil tanker, which has been at the center of a dispute between Tehran and Washington, was photographed by satellite off the Syrian port of Tartus, Maxar Technologies Inc., a US space technology firm, said on Saturday.

The vessel appeared to have turned off its transponder in the Mediterranean west of Syria, Refinitiv ship-tracking data showed on Tuesday.

The tanker, which is loaded with 2.1 million barrels of crude oil, sent its last signal giving its position between Cyprus and Syria sailing north on Monday, the data showed.

Iranian and Syrian officials have not acknowledged the tanker's presence off Tartus.

Iran had guaranteed Gibraltar in writing that the ship "was never destined to an EU sanctioned entity."

US National Security Advisor John Bolton accused Iran of lying after the emergence of the tanker's satellite images.

"Anyone who said the Adrian Darya-1 wasn't headed to #Syria is in denial," Bolton tweeted. "We can talk, but Iran's not getting any sanctions relief until it stops lying and spreading terror!"

9th September 2019


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