UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — An Iranian oil tanker suspected of transporting oil to Syria and detained for six weeks in Gibraltar is heading for Lebanon, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Caoşoglu said Friday.
“This tanker is not actually heading towards Iskenderun (southern Turkey), it is heading towards Lebanon,” Caoşoglu said in Oslo when asked if the tanker was heading for Turkey.
But the Turkish minister did not specify whether Lebanon was its final destination.
“We are still buying gas from Iran but we are not buying oil,” he said, adding that his country was “closely following” the ship’s developments.
The tanker Adrian Daria 1 was named “Grace-1” when it was detained off the coast of Gibraltar on suspicion of transporting oil to Syria, in violation of European sanctions imposed on this country. The United States has requested an extension of the detention.
The Gibraltar High Court on August 15 allowed the tanker to leave after Tehran said the cargo would not be delivered to Syria.
Iran announced Monday that it had sold the oil, which was stored in the tanker, without clarifying the buyer and whether the oil was purchased before or after the seizure of the tanker on July 4.
Authorities in Gibraltar, Britain’s sovereign territory, refused to seize the ship at Washington’s request.
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