Iranian tanker delivers oil to Syria despite Zarif’s assurances: Mike Pompeo

The tanker was seen near the Syrian coast. (File/AFP)
Updated 03 October 2019

Iranian tanker delivers oil to Syria despite Zarif’s assurances: Mike Pompeo

  • Pompeo shared a satellite image of the tanker near the Syrian coast, accusing Iran of breaking its assurances not to sell crude oil to Syria
  • The tanker was previously detained on July 4 by British forces for breaching European Sanctions

DUBAI: The Iranian tanker Adrian Darya 1 is still delivering oil to Syria, despite Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s promises to Britain, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday.

In a tweet, Pompeo shared a satellite image of the tanker near the Syrian coast, accusing Iran of breaking its assurances not to sell crude oil to the country, after it was previously detained on July 4 by British forces for breaching European Sanctions.  

Pompeo added in the tweet: “Will the world hold Iran accountable if this oil is delivered to Syria?”

Gibraltar released the tanker, previously named Grace 1, weeks after receiving written assurances from Iran that it would not deliver its 2.1 million-barrel cargo of oil in Syria.

Britain’s Foreign Office said the tanker had sold its crude oil to the Assad regime and that the oil had been transferred to Syria.

Iran’s envoy to Britain has since denied the accusations, saying the tanker’s cargo was sold at sea to a private company. He also said the private buyer of the oil “sets the sale destination.”

Pompeo’s tweet came weeks after the US State Department said it had evidence the ship had offloaded its crude oil to Syria.

“The Iranian regime delivered oil to Syria, and that fuel goes straight into the tanks of troops that are slaughtering innocent Syrians,” US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus told reporters.

(With Reuters)


Turkey: About 100,000 Syrians left Istanbul since early July

Updated 31 min 2 sec ago

Turkey: About 100,000 Syrians left Istanbul since early July

  • Authorities said Syrians not registered in Turkey’s largest city should return to the provinces in which they are registered by Oct. 30, or face forced removal
  • Turkey has deported 86,625 illegal migrants so far this year, compared to 56,000 in all of 2018

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s Interior Minister said on Wednesday that around 100,000 Syrians living without approval in Istanbul had left it since early July, when the government set a deadline for Syrians not registered in the city to leave for other provinces.
As sentiment toward Syrian refugees among Turks began to sour in recent years, authorities said Syrians not registered in Turkey’s largest city should return to the provinces in which they are registered by Oct. 30, or face forced removal.
Turkey hosts some 3.6 million refugees who fled the eight-year-old civil war, more than any other country. The Syrian population in Istanbul, home to some 15 million people, had swollen to more than half a million, more than those in any other Turkish city.
Syrians registered in other cities came to Istanbul, leading to an accumulation in the city, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told parliament.
“Around 100,000 Syrian have returned to provinces in which they are registered since July 12,” he said, adding that a total of 200,000 migrants had left the city.
Turkey also houses migrants from other Middle Eastern and African nations.
On Friday, the Istanbul governor’s office said more than 6,000 Syrian migrants in Istanbul were sent to temporary housing centers in other provinces since early July.
Ankara wants to settle some Syrian refugees in a swathe of land it now controls in northeast Syria, after it launched an offensive last month against the Kurdish YPG militia.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch last month published reports saying Turkey is forcibly sending Syrian refugees to northern Syria. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry called the claims in the reports “false and imaginary.”
Turkey has deported 86,625 illegal migrants so far this year, compared to 56,000 in all of 2018, Soylu said.