UK accuses Iran of violating its safeguards by sending an oil tanker to Syria

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Britain accused Iran on Tuesday of violating its assurances that a tanker seized off Gibraltar this summer would not deliver oil to Syria and summoned Iran’s ambassador to protest.

“It is now clear that Iran has breached these safeguards and that the oil has been transferred to Syria and the criminal regime of President Bashar al-Assad,” the Foreign Office said.

It said that Britain would submit the file to the United Nations and warned Foreign Minister Dominique Rapp that this “falls within the stereotypical behavior aimed at destabilizing regional security.”

“We want to lift isolation from Iran, but the only way to do that is to honor its commitments and the rules on which the international system is based,” he said.

Security forces in Gibraltar, backed by the British Royal Navy, intercepted an Iranian tanker Grace 1 off the coast of Gibraltar on July 4.

The tanker was suspected of transporting 2.1 million barrels of oil to Syria in violation of European sanctions.

Iran has described the detention of the tanker as “piracy.” A court in Gibraltar ordered her release in mid-August despite US objections.

The US national security adviser, John Bolton, said Friday that the tanker, which changed its name to “Adrian Draya” and is now flying the Iranian flag, has reached the Syrian port of Tartous.

“Iran has repeatedly given assurances to the Gibraltar government that the Grace 1 will not deliver oil to anyone in Syria or anywhere else subject to European sanctions,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“Iran’s actions are an unacceptable violation of international rules and Britain will submit the matter to the United Nations later this month,” it said.


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