As the Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya 1 still appears to be circling in Mediterranean waters off western Cyprus after it turned away from approaching Turkey’s coast this week, a new Wall Street Journal report says it will ultimately attempt to offload its 2.1 million barrels of oil to Syria after all, in contravention of EU sanctions.
The WSJ report issued late Friday cites US officials who describe a plan already in place to disrupt any ship-to-ship transfer that would get the oil into Syrian hands — precisely what UK/Gibraltar authorities detained the ship for in the first place, at the request of the United States:
The U.S. State Department is working to disrupt what it sees as the vessel’s Syrian plan, according to a U.S. official. The State Department has been monitoring two other Iranian tankers in the Mediterranean that could pick up the cargo…
As we observed before, all the erratic maneuvering and circling by the Adrian Darya 1 in the past two days between Turkey and Cyprus has actually put the vessel in the vicinity of its original suspected destination for which it was accused of busting EU sanctions in the first place — the Syrian port of Baniyas.
As Reuters described based on tracking data, the vessel “made a U-turn on Friday and headed for Turkey’s Iskenderun port – 200 km (124 miles) north of Syria’s Baniyas refinery, the tanker’s suspected original destination.”
Just killing time. They might as well just stop moving and save some fuel.
“The vessel’s plan, the people said, is to deliver its crude to smaller tankers near Syria. The new itinerary, with the stated destination of Iskenderun, comes after a failed attempt to offload the cargo near Greece, the people said,” according to the WSJ.
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