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US Offered Millions To Captain To Help Seize Iranian Oil Tanker

The United States has offered several million dollars to the captain of the Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya 1 to steer it to a port in a country that would detain the ship on behalf of the United States, the Financial Times reported, citing emails that the top U.S. envoy for Iran had sent to the vessel’s captain.

“With this money you can have any life you wish and be well-off in old age,” the U.S. Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook, wrote in an email to Adrian Darya’s captain Akhilesh Kumar, FT reports.

The email also contained a warning to the captain.

“If you choose not to take this easy path, life will be much harder for you,” Hook wrote, as carried by FT.

The emailed messages from the top U.S. envoy for Iran came less than two weeks after Gibraltar released the Iranian tanker and a few days before the U.S. Department of the Treasury blacklisted the tanker and its captain on Saturday.

Earlier this week, reports emerged that Adrian Darya 1, which is near the Syrian coast right now and expected to deliver its cargo of crude oil, is having problems with its captain, Fox News has reported, citing unnamed “intelligence sources.”

According to the report, the captain, Akhilesh Kumar, “has been refusing to cooperate with a planned oil delivery and has asked to be dismissed or replaced.”

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. Last 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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