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Iranian Oil Tanker Turns Off Positioning System Offshore Syria

Grace 1

Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya 1, which the U.S. blacklisted this weekend, went dark on Monday while in the Mediterranean offshore Syria, ship-tracking data shows, suggesting that the tanker may be now in Syrian waters.

The Iranian tanker has not sent signal since 15:53 GMT on Monday, according to Refinitiv ship tracking data cited by Reuters.

Over the weekend, tanker-tracking service providers said that Adrian Darya 1, formerly Grace 1, was near Syria, possibly for a ship-to-ship oil transfer.

According to TankerTrackers.com, the Adrian Darya 1 on Sunday stopped in the international waters between Syria and Cyprus, supporting its report with a satellite image of the vessel. TankerTrackers also said two other vessels—Suezmax tankers—were in the vicinity and one more Suezmax was en route there. These would probably be used to unload the cargo of the Adrian Darya 1 and deliver it to Syria.

On Tuesday, TankerTrackers.com said that “It’s been over 12 hours since #AdrianDarya1 was last transmitting her position. It is now safe to assume she is in Syria’s territorial waters.”

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a tweet on Saturday, “We have reliable information that the tanker is underway and headed to Tartus, Syria. I hope it changes course.”

The U.S. Department of the Treasury blacklisted the tanker and its captain on Saturday, with Secretary Pompeo saying that “The U.S. will not idly watch the Assad regime use Iranian oil to terrorize its own people.”

Adrian Darya 1, under her former name Grace 1, was detained by the British overseas territory Gibraltar in early July on suspicion of violating the European Union sanctions on Syria. Earlier this month, Gibraltar released the Iranian tanker after Tehran gave assurances its oil cargo wouldn’t go to Syria.

Days after the U.S. warned, again, that anyone dealing with the Iranian oil tanker released by Gibraltar would face sanctions, Iran said last week that it had sold the crude oil cargo aboard the now notorious tanker.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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