Saturday 24 August 2019 | 5:26 PM Damascus Local Time
  • Iranian oil tanker changes course to Turkey


    An Iranian oil tanker at the center of a dispute between Washington and Tehran has changed its intended destination from Greece to a port in southern Turkey.

    Adrian Darya 1, formerly known as the Grace 1, was released in mid-August after being detained in Gibraltar for five weeks on suspicion of planning to deliver oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions.

    The ship-tracking website showed the tanker carrying 2.1 million barrels of Iranian crude oil worth some $130 million (€115 million) is currently south of Sicily and has updated its listed destination as the port of Mersin in southern Turkey. The site estimated that the tanker would arrive in Mersin on August 31.

    Sailors can put in any destination into Automatic Identification System. Mersin may not be its final destination. Mersin is around 200 kilometers (125 miles) northwest of a refinery in Baniyas, Syria. When the Adrian Darya 1 was released Iranian officials had pledged not to send the oil to Syria.
    The United States claims the Adrian Darya 1 is owned by the Iran's Revolutionary Guard, which Washington labeled as a foreign terrorist organization earlier this year. The United States has warned countries around the Mediterranean they could be sanctioned for taking the oil.