Iranian supertanker’s oil sold to private entity: official

September 15, 2019

TEHRAN - Iran’s ambassador to the UK has said that his country’s decision to deliver oil to a private company in Syria by Adrian Darya-1 supertanker was in no contrast to an agreement to not sell the cargo to a country under European Union sanctions.

Hamid Baeedinejad’s remarks came after Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said that Iran had announced that its oil would not be transferred to countries under EU sanctions.

Iran had not undertaken any commitment, so by selling Iranian oil to private company even if it is transferred to Syria, the EU cannot accuse Iran of breaching its official position, Baeedinejad wrote on his Twitter page on Sunday.  

He reiterated that Picardo’s remarks are exactly the same as Iran’s stances.

The envoy expressed happiness that it is now clear to everyone that by Iran’s commitments, the UK meant those official remarks and the official written note of the Iranian diplomatic mission.  

Earlier, Western media quoted Picardo as saying, “You can see from the images that the oil has ended up in Syria, but that’s not to say that there’s a breach of the undertaking [by Iran].”

He added, “We did not have an undertaking that the oil would not end up in Syria.”

Baeedinejad had earlier said in a message that the supertanker Adrian Darya’s cargo had been sold to a private company and has been delivered at sea, adding that its owner will identify its destination.

He referred to his meeting with the top UK diplomat, saying the UK’s measures against Adrian Darya were against international regulations.

The EU sanctions cannot be extended to third countries, he added.

Despite, the U.S. threats, oil tanker sold its oil to a private company and has violated no rule, he reiterated.

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

Tehran, however, rejected London’s claim about the tanker’s destination and slammed the seizure as “piracy.”

According to Spain’s Foreign Ministry, the UK had seized the vessel at the request of the U.S., which has been trying to trouble Iran’s international oil vessels as part of its campaign of economic pressure against the Islamic Republic.

Late last month, the United States blacklisted the vessel and put its captain on the sanctions list, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

A report by The Financial Times revealed on September 4 that four days before the U.S. imposed sanctions on the tanker, the vessel’s Indian captain received an unusual email from Brian Hook, the U.S. special representative for Iran at the Department of State.

On September 7, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif posted a tweet where he asked his American counterpart Mike Pompeo if extortion meant “offering bribes for theft of oil & designating those who refuse?”

On September 6, Head of Iran’s Civil Defense Organization Brigadier General Gholamreza Jalali said that the U.S. is not as strong as it has been instilled in the minds of some people, adding that Washington is even unable to detain the Iranian-flagged oil tanker which was at the time sailing near the waters of the occupied Palestine.

“America’s power is not as much as it has been said to us. Because if it was so, then Adrain Darya 1 was not wandering around the occupied Palestine,” Jalali said, casting doubt on Washington’s self-proclamation as the world’s superpower.

SP/PA

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