Bolton warns Adrian Darya 1 must not be off-loaded

August 26, 2019

TEHRAN – U.S. national security adviser John Bolton has warned that the Adrian Darya 1 supertanker “must not be allowed off-loaded.”

“The illicit oil heading to Turkey on the Adrian Darya 1 must not be allowed off-loaded in port or at sea,” Bolton tweeted on Sunday.

On July 4, Britain’s naval forces unlawfully seized Adrian Darya 1, then known as Grace 1, and its cargo of 2.1 million barrels of oil in the Strait of Gibraltar on the pretext that the supertanker had been suspected of carrying crude to Syria in violation of the European Union’s unilateral sanctions against the war-torn country.

Tehran, however, rejected London’s claim, slamming the seizure as “maritime piracy”.

On August 16, Gibraltar’s government announced it was releasing the supertanker despite pressure from the U.S. for the vessel’s continued detainment.

Soon after the announcement, the U.S. Department of Justice unveiled a warrant for the seizure of the ship. Gibraltar, however, knocked back the request.

Following the release of Adrian Darya 1, the United States threatened to aggressively enforce its sanctions on those potentially assisting the supertanker.

In his Sunday tweet, Bolton also accused Iran of funding terror. “All hands on deck in the campaign to stop Iran from funding terror, destabilizing the globe, and breaking international sanctions,” he said.

This is while the current tensions in the Persian Gulf and other regions were built up in the aftermath of the U.S. government’s withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and its imposition of unilateral sanctions against Tehran.

The U.S. sanctions have been criticized, and in some cases defied, by other countries. Also, Washington’s attempt to impose the “harshest ever sanctions” on Iran has been described by Iranian leaders as an “economic terrorism” against the Iranian people.

MH/

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