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Pompeo claims Iranian tanker held by UK has offloaded oil to Syria

US secretary of state calls on EU to condemn Tehran and hold it accountable after breaking sanctions and assurances
A crew member takes pictures with a mobile phone on Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya 1, previously named Grace 1, as it sits anchored after the Supreme Court of the British territory lifted its detention order (Reuters)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday called on the European Union to condemn Iran after he said oil from Iranian tanker Adrian Darya had been offloaded in Syria.

"Oil from the #AdrianDarya1 has been offloaded in Syria, proving that Iran lied to the UK and Gibraltar ... EU members should condemn this action, uphold the rule of law, and hold Iran accountable," Pompeo wrote on Twitter.

Last month, sources told Middle East Eye that the Iranian tanker had begun offloading its oil to Bashar al-Assad's government in Syria. Two sources told MEE that oil from the Adrian Darya 1, which the UK said was suspected of breaching European Union sanctions against Syria, had been offloaded to a port in the country.

The United Kingdom seized the tanker - then called Grace 1 - in July off the coast of Gibraltar on suspicion that its contents were headed to Syria in defiance of EU sanctions.

After authorities received formal written assurances from Tehran that the ship would not hand the 2.1 million barrels of oil it was carrying to Syria, the vessel was released.

But in September, Britain's foreign minister said the tanker had sold its crude oil to the Syrian government, breaking those assurances.

More to follow...