US Blacklists Iranian Oil Tanker ‘Headed to Syria’

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The United States has blacklisted the Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya 1 and its captain, allegedly heading to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action against the tanker, transporting 2.1 million barrels of Iranian crude oil, and its captain, Akhilesh Kumar.

The officials noted that the ship has been identified as “blocked property” pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorism or acts of terrorism.

U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, on Friday said that the United States has “reliable information” the tanker is underway and headed to Tartus, Syria.

“Vessels like the Adrian Darya 1 enable the IRGC-QF (Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force) to ship and transfer large volumes of oil, which they attempt to mask and sell illicitly to fund the regime’s malign activities and propagate terrorism,” Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, commented.

“Anyone providing support to the Adrian Darya 1 risks being sanctioned. The path to relief is to change course and not allow the IRGC-QF to profit from illicit oil sales.”

As a result of the action, all property and interests in property of these targets that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons “must be blocked” and reported to OFAC, the authority said.

Iran earlier informed that the oil aboard Adrian Darya 1, previously named Grace 1, was sold to an undisclosed buyer, after being released from a six-week detention in Gibraltar.

The authorities detained the tanker on July 4 on suspicion that it was in breach of European Union sanctions as it was transporting 2.1 million barrels of Iranian crude oil to Baniyas Oil Refinery in Syria.

Adrian Darya 1 was released on August 15, only days after Gibraltar received written assurance from the Republic of Iran that the ship’s destination would not be an entity that is subject to EU sanctions.

 

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