Britain has accused Iran of breaching assurances that it would not sell oil to Syria from an Iranian tanker. Released by authorities in Gibraltar on the condition. That the 2.1m barrels it was carrying would not be sold to the “murderous regime” of Bashar al-Assad.
Iran, desperate for revenue from oil exports, did not formally confirm the customer was Syria.
The UK foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, summoned Hamid Baeidinejad, the Iranian ambassador to the UK, to a meeting on Wednesday to ask why the assurances given to the Gibraltarian authorities had not been honoured.
The Foreign Office says Iranian officials gave as many as five different assurances to British officials – including one in writing to Gibraltar’s government – that the ship’s cargo would not go to Syria.
“Iran repeatedly gave assurances to the government of Gibraltar. Saying that the Grace 1/Adrian Darya 1 would not deliver oil to any EU-sanctioned entity in Syria or elsewhere.
“Iran’s actions represent an unacceptable violation of international norms and the UK will raise the issue at the United Nations later this month.” Raab said: “Iran has shown complete disregard for its own assurances over Adrian Darya 1.
U.S creating troubles or is it vice versa
“This includes illegally supplying weapons to Houthi insurgents in Yemen, support for Hezbollah terrorists. Most recently its attempts to hijack commercial ships passing through the Gulf.
“We want Iran to come in from the cold, but the only way to do that is to keep its word and comply with the rules-based international system.”
Britain is pursuing a policy of maximum economic pressure on Iran in an attempt to force Tehran. For the renegotiation of the joint comprehensive plan of action, a deal on Iran’s nuclear programme signed in 2015.
The US attempted to block the departure of the ship, and then tried to contact the captain of ship. It was to offer him a substantial sum in return for not selling the oil to Syria. But instead taking the ship to a port at which the US could seize the cargo.
The Gibraltar first minister, Fabian Picardo, said in a statement: “It will be a massive volte face for Iran to have failed to live up to its written undertaking in the full glare of international public opinion.
“They will really make themselves look shifty and unreliable if they have acted contrary to their repeated assertions and undertakings.”