Zarif says ‘we will sell oil to any and all buyers’

‘Stop nagging’, Zarif tells Pompeo

September 1, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called on U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to “stop nagging” about the Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya, saying that Iran “will sell oil to any and all buyers”.

Zarif brought examples that whenever and wherever the U.S. has tried to block Iran’s access to what it needs, his country has succeeded to make a breakthrough.

The tweet by Zarif came one day after the United States blacklisted Adrian Darya following repeated warnings over its valuable oil cargo.

“We have reliable information that the tanker is underway and headed to Tartus, Syria,” Pompeo claimed in a tweet on Friday.

On July 4, British Royal Marines in Gibraltar stormed the supertanker, then named “Grace 1” off the coast of Gibraltar, seizing the 300,000-ton vessel based on the accusation that it was carrying oil to Syria in possible violation of the European Union’s sanctions on the Arab country.

Spain revealed that the tanker was captured upon order by the United States. White House national security advisor John Bolton, an ultra-hawk, praised the ship’s seizure.

The Gibraltar government, a semi-autonomous territory ruled by London, released on August 15 the supertanker despite the U.S. attempts to block it.

The U.S. Department of Treasury on Friday said the vessel is “blocked property”, and “anyone providing support to the Adrian Darya 1 risks being sanctioned”.

The ship’s captain, Akhilesh Kumar, was also blacklisted under the order, which generally prohibits dealings with blocked property by U.S. persons.

Since its release from Gibraltar, the Adrian Darya has been bouncing around the Mediterranean, its every move followed. The vessel was in waters north of Cyprus as of early Saturday, according to the MarineTraffic website.

NA/PA

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