Published: Tue, September 10, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Iran's Dark Fleet of Tankers Poses Oil Market's Biggest Mystery

Iran's Dark Fleet of Tankers Poses Oil Market's Biggest Mystery

Iran said in late August that it had sold the oil on the Adrian Darya 1 tanker and the purchaser would decide the destination of the cargo.

The ship apparently turned off its location transponders off the coast of Syria last week.

"We can't talk, but Iran's not getting any sanctions relief until it stops lying and spreading terror". The tanker was seized on charges of transporting oil to Syria, thus violating global sanctions.

Responding to the announcement, a USA official told Reuters that Washington will continue to target any individuals or states that do business with Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

On July 4, the British Navy seized the Iranian tanker, "Grace1", sailing under the Panama flag in Gibraltar.

"We had already announced that we would sell our oil in any way and that acts of sabotage would not affect our plans", he added.

Since this Trump has re-imposed sanctions, which have crippled the Iranian economy. Last week it released seven of the ship's crew.

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The Gibraltar government released the Iranian tanker on August 15 after receiving official written assurances from Tehran that the tanker would not unload its 2.1 million barrels of oil in Syria.

It is not clear if the United Kingdom would have any powers if indeed the Iranian oil has been sold to Syria, but the episode will hardly do much to rebuild shattered trust between Tehran and London, and will be used by Washington hawks to argue Iran's word can not be taken at face value.

The spokesman further emphasized that the U.S. measures against the supertanker are contrary to global regulations, including the law of the sea and regulations of the worldwide Maritime Organization (IMO).

In July, Iran seized a British oil tanker near the Strait of Hormuz for alleged marine violations, two weeks after British forces detained an Iranian tanker near Gibraltar accused of taking oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions.

On Saturday, Iran said its coast guard seized a tugboat allegedly carrying contraband fuel and arrested 12 Filipino crew members.

A French plan for a $15bn credit line to help the Iranians sell their oil appears to have foundered because of USA objections to reintroducing oil export waivers, a precondition for the plan gaining traction.

Iran is ready to once again fully comply with the agreement if it secures an agreement with France on a proposed €13.6bn credit line, to be repaid once it resumed oil exports.

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