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TankerTrackers Denies Report Of Detained Tanker With Iranian Crude

Suez channel

A report about Egypt detaining an Iranian tanker from an Arab news outlet carried by Middle East Monitor is false, TankerTrackers.com co-founder Samir Madani told Oilprice.

The report said Egyptian authorities had seized a Ukrainian tanker carrying Iranian crude ten days ago when it was crossing the Suez Canal.

Madani, however, said "Based on all the tracking of Iranian oil we continue to do, we haven't seen any vessels being seized in the Suez Canal area since late last year, when a vessel called SEA SHARK failed to deliver oil to Syria. Seventeen of the 31 crew are Ukrainian, and that's possibly where a news propaganda outlet such as Middle East Monitor received its inspiration for story that has no grounds or details as to which vessel was recently involved. The story doesn't even have an author to claim it as own. Yet another unfortunate case of disinformation. Iran's oil is still reaching Syria."

A few hours later, the Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority denied the original report about the tanker seizure, as quoted by Iranian media.

Last week, Gibraltar detained a super tanker carrying crude oil to Syria because it had “reasonable grounds” to believe that the Grace 1 ship was violating European Union sanctions against Syria.

Shipping data that Reuters has reviewed suggests that the tanker en route to Syria was loaded with Iranian oil off the Iranian coast. Yet, the tanker documents point that the oil comes from Iraq, according to Reuters.

If the tanker indeed loaded oil from Iran, it was not only in breach of EU sanctions on the Syrian entity owning the refinery believed to be the destination of the oil, but it also violated the U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil exports.

The seizure sparked the anger of Tehran, with the latest to weigh in President Rouhani, who said earlier today there will be “consequences” for Britain.

“You (Britain) are the initiator of insecurity and you will realize the consequences later,” Rouhani said as quoted by Reuters.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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