Iranian oil tanker heads to Greece, Washington warns Athens
While the Iranian oil tanker accused by the United States of transporting oil to Syria was heading to Greece on Monday, Washington has reported its "strong position" in Athens.
After leaving Gibraltar on Sunday, despite Washington protests, the Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya 1 (formerly Grace 1), is heading east. Refinitiv's marine data showed Monday (August 19th) that the tanker was sailing to Kalamata, Greece, and is expected to arrive next Sunday.
According to a US State Department official quoted by Reuters, Washington, which accuses the oil company of transporting oil to Syria, has expressed its "strong position" to the Greek government.
The US official said the Iranian oil tanker was providing assistance to the body of the guardians of the Islamic Revolution, which is on the US blacklist of terrorist organizations, by transporting oil to Syria.
Any effort to help the oil tanker could be seen as material support to a foreign organization considered terrorist by the United States, which could lead to criminal and immigration consequences, he added.
Warning of Iran
For his part, the head of the American diplomacy Mike Pompeo said "regret" Monday that the Iranian tanker was authorized to leave by Gibraltar despite the request for seizure of the United States. The US Secretary of State said he hopes the oil tanker will be boarded again so as not to fuel the "terror campaign" that Washington accuses Tehran of conducting.
Iran, meanwhile, said on Monday warned the United States against a seizure by its oil tanker, stressing that "such an error" could have "serious consequences".
The boat has been in the midst of a diplomatic crisis since it was boarded in Gibraltar on July 4 under European sanctions against Syria. The tanker was cleared Thursday to leave after Tehran assured that the cargo of 2.1 million barrels would not be delivered to Syria.
With AFP and Reuters
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