Britain summons Iranian ambassador after oil tanker offloads in Syria

The Adrian Darya-1 unloaded its oil in Syria despite Iran giving reassurances that the vessel would not. (Satellite image Maxar Technologies via AP)
Updated 10 September 2019

Britain summons Iranian ambassador after oil tanker offloads in Syria

  • Britain said Iran had unloaded in Syria despite giving reassurances that it would not
  • The vessel, formerly named Grace 1, was seized by British Royal Marine commandos on July 4

LONDON: Britain said Iran had sold the oil cargo of tanker Adrian Darya 1 to Syria, breaking assurances it had given over the vessel which had been detained in Gibraltar for a suspected breach of European Union sanctions.
The vessel, formerly named Grace 1, was seized by British Royal Marine commandos on July 4 on suspicion of being en route to Syria.
Gibraltar released it on Aug. 15 after receiving formal written assurances from Tehran that the ship would not discharge its 2.1 million barrels of oil in Syria.
But Britain's foreign office said in a statement on Tuesday it was clear Iran had breached those assurances and that the oil had been transferred to Syria.
"Iran has shown complete disregard for its own assurances over Adrian Darya 1," foreign minister Dominic Raab said in the statement.
"This sale of oil to (Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's) brutal regime is part of a pattern of behaviour by the Government of Iran designed to disrupt regional security."
Britain said it had summoned the Iranian Ambassador to condemn Iran’s actions and would raise the issue at the United Nations later this month.
"Iran’s actions represent an unacceptable violation of international norms," the statement said


Afghan, US forces kill Taliban governors, fighters

Updated 19 min 20 sec ago

Afghan, US forces kill Taliban governors, fighters

  • Joint operations planned to prevent attacks ahead of polls

KABUL: Afghan forces backed by US forces killed two senior Taliban leaders and at least 38 fighters of the hard-line insurgent group in joint airstrikes conducted in northern and western regions of Afghanistan, officials said on Sunday.

The operations, launched on Saturday night, were aimed at foiling attacks planned by the Taliban on Afghan forces, said a senior security official in capital Kabul, adding that clashes have escalated following the collapse of diplomatic talks between the US and the Taliban.

The Defense Ministry in a statement said that the Taliban’s designate governor for northern Samangan province, Mawlavi Nooruddin, was killed along with four fighters in an airstrike in Dara-e-Soof Payeen district.

But the Taliban denied the governor had been killed.

“He (Nooruddin) is alive,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman said in a statement.

HIGHLOW

  • Taliban deny the governor of Samangan province had been killed.
  • Last week, insurgents killed four Afghan special force members in a car bomb blast.
  • Afghan officials say around 100,000 members of the country’s security forces are ready for polling day.

In a separate incident, Mullah Sayed Azim, a Taliban designate governor for Anar Dara district in western Farah was killed in a joint Afghan and foreign force raid.

“Sayed Azim was killed along with 34 other insurgents in Anar Dara,” said Mohibullah Mohib, a spokesman for Farah provincial police.

Senior security officials in Kabul said several joint operations will be launched against Taliban and Daesh fighters to prevent attacks on Afghan forces and civilians ahead of the presidential polls on Sept. 28.

Fighting picked up in several parts of Afghanistan last week after US President Donald Trump’s abrupt cancelation of talks with the Taliban aimed at withdrawing US troops and opening the way to end to 18 year-long war in Afghanistan. 

 

Troops for polling day

Afghan officials say around 100,000 members of the country’s security forces are ready for polling day. Nasrat Rahimi, spokesman for the Interior Ministry said on Sunday that 72,000 security personnel will be on duty around the 4,942 polling centers across Afghanistan while nearly 30,000 additional troops will serve as reserve units.

Defense Ministry spokesman Rohullah Ahmadzai said security forces have recently taken back eight districts from the Taliban and that operations are underway to secure around 20 others.