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UK Summons Iran Ambassador for Breaching Assurances on Oil Tanker

UK Summons Iran Ambassador for Breaching Assurances on Oil Tanker

Tuesday, 10 September, 2019 - 17:45
The Iranian flag flutters on board the Adrian Darya 1 oil tanker. (AFP)

Britain summoned on Tuesday the Iranian ambassador to condemn a clear breach of the assurances it was given over the oil cargo of the tanker Adrian Darya 1, which had previously been detained for breaching EU sanctions.

“Iran has shown complete disregard for its own assurances over Adrian Darya 1,” foreign minister Dominic Raab said in a statement, accusing Iran of reneging on a promise not to transfer oil from the tanker to Syria.

"This sale of oil to (Bashar) Assad's brutal regime is part of a pattern of behavior by the government of Iran designed to disrupt regional security," he said.

This includes illegally supplying weapons to Houthi militias in Yemen, support for the Hezbollah party in Lebanon and most recently its attempts to hijack commercial ships passing through the Gulf, he added.

"We want Iran to come in from the cold but the only way to do that is to keep its word and comply with the rules based international system."

The Adrian Darya 1, formerly known as the Grace 1, was carrying 2.1 million barrels of Iranian crude oil worth some $130 million.

New satellite photos obtained Tuesday showed the tanker, which is pursued by the US, remains off the coast of Syria.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Abbas Mousavi was quoted as saying the ship has unloaded its cargo, without elaborating.

Gibraltar earlier seized and held the tanker for weeks on suspicion of the tanker breaking European Union sanctions on Syria. The British territory later released the vessel after authorities there said Iran promised the oil would not go to Syria.

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