UK Foreign Office Accuses Iran Of Selling Oil To Syrian Government

UK Foreign Office Accuses Iran of Selling Oil to Syrian Government

The Iranian ambassador was summoned to the UK Foreign Office on Tuesday as the United Kingdom accused Tehran of violating international obligations not to supply oil to Syria, a few days after satellite images emerged showing Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya 1 near the Syrian port of Tartus

LONDON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 11th September, 2019) The Iranian ambassador was summoned to the UK Foreign Office on Tuesday as the United Kingdom accused Tehran of violating international obligations not to supply oil to Syria, a few days after satellite images emerged showing Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya 1 near the Syrian port of Tartus.

The ship has reportedly turned off its tracking system to disappear from radars, especially those of the United States amid its attempt to seize the vessel as part of its sanctions against Iran's energy industry. The Iranian Foreign Ministry's representative, Abbas Mousavi, confirmed earlier last week that Adrian Darya 1 sold its oil, but did not specify to whom.

"Iran repeatedly gave assurances to the Government of Gibraltar that the Grace 1/Adrian Darya 1 would not deliver oil to any EU-sanctioned entity in Syria or elsewhere. It is now clear that Iran has breached these assurances and that the oil has been transferred to Syria and [President Bashar] Assad's murderous regime" the UK Foreign Office's statement read.

According to the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, the fact that oil was sold to Syria falls in line with the overall behavior of the Iranian government, which is trying to destabilize the region.

"This sale of oil to Assad's brutal regime is part of a pattern of behavior by the Government of Iran designed to disrupt regional security.

This includes illegally supplying weapons to Houthi insurgents in Yemen, support for Hezbollah terrorists and most recently its attempts to hijack commercial ships passing through the Gulf," the statement said.

It added that Tehran could improve relations with London by keeping its promises and complying by the international laws.

Grace 1 was seized by Gibraltar's authorities, supported by UK marines, off Gibraltar's coast in July on suspicions of transporting oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions. In mid-August, the vessel was released as Gibraltar received assurances from Iran that the tanker was not going to deliver its cargo to Syria.

The United States tried to prevent the vessel from being released after a US court ruled that the vessel, all oil on board and $995,000 in cash were subject to confiscation due to violations of a number of US laws on bank fraud and money laundering, as well as the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and a law on confiscation for terrorism-related activities. However, the authorities of Gibraltar have rejected US request to extend the seizure of the tanker, citing differences in US and European sanctions against Iran.

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