Iranian oil tanker that left Gibraltar finally reaches waters off Syria – and goes dark

Iranian oil tanker that left Gibraltar finally reaches waters off Syria – and goes dark
Tanker Grace 1 off Gibraltar July 2019. YouTube, Financial Times video

[Ed. – The U.S. government knows a lot more about what this tanker (the former Grace 1) is doing than the public does.  USG’s not talking, beyond slapping sanctions on the ship and the captain (an Iranian national, now that the ships is under overt Iranian ownership).  We’ll see where this all goes; smaller tankers have made several deliveries from Iran to Syria this year, including at least one in the last month. From the superficial indicators, it’s harder for Iran to get business done.  A lot more obstacles.  Not clear what the overall impact of that will be.]

The Iranian supertanker targeted by the U.S. over alleged attempts to sell oil to the Assad regime on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is lying off the coast of Syria, and has evidently turned off its transponders.

Since about noon U.S. eastern time on Monday (1600 UTC), there have been no Automatic Identification System (AIS) broadcasts from the Adrian Darya I.

On the website its last given position, recorded by an AIS station in Larnaca, Cyprus, was roughly 55 miles southwest of the Syrian port of Tartus and 75 miles from the Baniyas oil refinery. …

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Once a ship-to-ship transfer is made, presumably in Syrian territorial waters, Syria looks to be a likely destination for the oil, despite the regime’s denials and “written assurance.”

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