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Iran’s Adrian Darya Now Off Lebanese Coast

Iran’s Adrian Darya Now Off Lebanese Coast

Monday, 2 September, 2019 - 11:45
FILE - In this Aug. 17, 2019 file photo, the super tanker Adrian Darya 1, formerly known as the Grace 1 sails in the British territory of Gibraltar. (AP Photo/Marcos Moreno, File)

An Iranian oil tanker pursued by the US that has been traveling across the Mediterranean Sea is now off the coast of Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli.

The ship-tracking website showed the Adrian Darya 1 moving slowly just outside the Lebanese territorial waters, after it had stood off the coast of Syria a day earlier.

The ship's Automatic Identification System does not show its destination after its mariners onboard previously listed it as ports in Greece and Turkey. Turkey's foreign minister at one point suggested it would go to Lebanon, something denied by Lebanese officials.

"This tanker is not heading actually to Iskenderun (in Turkey), this tanker is heading to Lebanon," Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday.

Lebanese Energy Minister Nada Boustani swiftly dismissed the scenario, stressing that it never buys crude oil because it simply does not have refineries.

She added that Lebanon had not received any docking request from the tanker.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later claimed that it was bound for a refinery in Syria.

The US has warned countries not to accept the Adrian Darya, which carries 2.1 million barrels of crude oil worth some $130 million.

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