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Iranian tanker row: Ambassador summoned over Syria claim

11 September 2019

Gibraltar security forces aided by British Royal Marines intercepted the Grace 1 Iranian supertanker off the coast of the British overseas territory on July 4.

Britain, meanwhile, said Tuesday it's clear the tanker delivered its cargo to Syria in violation of global sanctions.

Mousavi was quoted by state news agency IRNA as saying that the released Iranian tanker has delivered its oil after docking somewhere in the Mediterranean region.

In this photo from August 18, 2019, an Iranian flag flutters on board the Adrian Darya oil tanker, formerly known as Grace 1, off the coast of Gibraltar.

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"Iran has shown complete disregard for its own assurances over Adrian Darya 1", foreign minister Dominic Raab said in a statement, accusing Iran of reneging on a promise not to transfer oil from the tanker to Syria.

"This sale of oil to Assad's brutal regime is part of a pattern of behaviour by the government of Iran created to disrupt regional security", Raab said on Tuesday.

The Foreign Office said it was clear the ship's cargo had been transferred to the Assad regime in an "unacceptable violation" of worldwide norms.

India has been Iran's key trade partner and the second largest customer of Iran's oil, importing 457,000 barrels of Iranian oil a day before the US withdrawal from the landmark Iranian nuclear deal in May 2018.

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The foreign secretary also accused Iran of illegally supplying weapons to Houthi insurgents in Yemen, supporting what he called "Hezbollah terrorists" and hijacking commercial ships passing through the Gulf.

"The world will be better placed to judge Iran's position on other, more transcendental matters based on actions on this issue on which they have been under the microscope of worldwide scrutiny", it said in a statement.

The UK insisted the tanker was seized only in pursuit of European Union sanctions policy, and not in support of the United States effort to cut off all Iranian oil exports, a strategy with which the UK does not agree.

Mandelker said that Washington "will continue to impose sanctions" against any who would buy Iranian oil or to conduct any business with the IRGC.

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France has proposed offering Iran $15 billion in credit lines if Tehran comes back and complies with the 2015 nuclear deal.

Iranian tanker row: Ambassador summoned over Syria claim