News ID: 258139
Published: 0239 GMT September 01, 2019

Zarif: US engages in threats to stop Iran oil sales

Zarif: US engages in threats to stop Iran oil sales

Iran’s foreign minister accused the United States on Saturday of engaging in “piracy and threats” to stop Tehran from selling oil to traditional clients, after Washington blacklisted an Iranian oil tanker on Friday.

“US engages in piracy & threats to prevent Iran from selling oil to traditional customers,” Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted. “Stop nagging @SecPompeo: We will sell oil to any & all buyers,” according to Reuters.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday the United States had reliable information the Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya, which the US Treasury Department has blacklisted, was headed to Syria. Iran has repeatedly announced that the tanker’s destination is not Syria.

US Treasury Undersecretary Sigal Mandelker said in a statement that anyone providing support to the Adrian Darya 1 risks being sanctioned.

The ship, formerly called Grace 1, was detained by Britain off Gibraltar on July 4 due to British suspicion it was carrying Iranian oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions.

Tehran, however, rejected London’s claim about the tanker’s destination and slammed the seizure as “piracy.”

Despite pressure from the US for the vessel’s continued detainment, the tanker was released in mid-August. Britain claimed that Iran gave assurances its cargo was not headed to Syria. However, Tehran denied that any assurances were given to Gibraltar to secure the ship's release.

Soon after Gibraltar’s announcement, the US Department of Justice unveiled a warrant for the seizure of the ship. Gibraltar, however, knocked back the request.

The Iranian government spokesman said on Monday Iran has sold the oil from the tanker released by Gibraltar.


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