Published On: Tue, Sep 3rd, 2019

Iran news: Iranian oil tanker evades US pursuit by silencing tracker off Syrian coast | World | News

The Adrian Darya, which was transporting crude oil supplies worth a reported $130million – £110million – switched off its AIS beacon just before 4pm on Monday, according to ship-tracking website The ship was 83 kilometres off the coast of Lebanon and Syria, heading north at its last report. This is not the first occasion that Iranian tankers have vanished from US radar screens.

Iranian Automatic Identification Systems have regularly been switched off in the Mediterranean area, concealing cargo drop-off points off the Syrian coast.

US pursuits of Iranian cargo began in 2015 when Tehran signed a nuclear deal with the P5+1 (UK, France, Russia, China, Germany and the US) promising to open their nuclear facilities to regular checks by international inspectors.

In return, crippling sanctions were lifted and Iran was able to do business on the international oil market once more, reviving the economy in the Islamic Republic.

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The deal was agreed during Barack Obama’s presidency, however when Donald Trump reached the White House he lambasted the deal calling it “one of the most one sided transactions I’ve seen”.

Since leaving the deal in May 2018, the Trump administration has heaped sanctions on Iran’s oil industry, a market the country’s economy relies on hugely.

The US government also officially recognises Iran’s ruling Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organisation.

Iran-US tensions persist to this day. Tankers have exploded, Iran have attacked and successfully destroyed US surveillance and more American troops have been deployed to the region.

Iran’s leader Hassan Rouhani told his parliament this week that European leaders must do something “significant” if Iran is to avoid moving further from the deal.

He said: “Unfortunately after America’s violation (of the deal) and treachery and its getting out of its commitments, the Europeans too either failed to carry out their duties, or couldn’t do so, or both.

“If (the Europeans) don’t do anything significant, we surely will take the third step in the coming days.”

Today, he went further still as he ruled out ever holding bilateral talks with the US.

He added: “There have been lots of offers for talks but our answers will always be negative.”

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