Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab this week condemned Iran for breaching assurances that the Adrian Darya 1 tanker would not sell its 2.1 million barrels of oil to the Syrian Government. He also summoned the Iranian Ambassador to discuss his concerns and pledged that the UK will raise this issue at the United Nations later this month.
Foreign Secretary Raab said that “Iran has shown complete disregard for its own assurances over Adrian Darya 1″. He added: “This sale of oil to Assad’s brutal regime is part of a pattern of behaviour by the Government of Iran designed to disrupt regional security. This includes illegally supplying weapons to Houthi insurgents in Yemen, support for Hezbollah terrorists and most recently its attempts to hijack commercial ships passing through the Gulf”.
Mr Raab underlined: “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”.
British commandos on 4th July seized the vessel, formerly named the Grace 1, on suspicion that it was en route to Syria in breach of European Union sanctions. Gibraltar released the ship on 15th August after receiving written Iranian assurances that it would not discharge its 2.1 million barrels of oil in Syria.
Last week, suspicions that the assurances would be broken peaked when the ship turned off its automatic identification system, which had previously allowed its movements to be tracked.
Iran has temporarily disabled these systems in an attempt to conceal where they deliver cargo on numerous occasions in the past.
According to the US, the ship is owned by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, a faction of the Iranian leadership structure which answers to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and designated a terror group by the Americans.