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The US blacklists Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya and sanctions his captain

WASHINGTON, Aug 31 (Reuters / EP) –

The US Department of the Treasury has included this Friday in its list of sanctions against Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya and sanctioned his captain, amid the increase in bilateral tensions between the two countries.

The ship – formerly called 'Grace 1' – was held by the Gibraltarian authorities on July 4 on suspicion that it intended to bring oil to Syria, something that would contravene the sanctions imposed by the EU against the Bashar al Assad regime. Two weeks later, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard captured the British tanker 'Stena Impero'.

The US blacklists Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya and sanctions his captain
The US blacklists Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya and sanctions his captain

“Ships like Adrián Darya 1 allow the Revolutionary Guards of Iran to transfer large volumes of oil, which attempt to mask and sell illegally to finance the regime's evil activities and spread terrorism,” said Treasury undersecretary Sigal Mandelker, in a statement. “Anyone who supports Adrian Darya 1 runs the risk of being sanctioned,” he warned.

The United States considers the body of the Revolutionary Guard of Iran a terrorist group. The Revolutionary Guard was created shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution as the military and ideological elite body of the Islamic Republic of Iran and has become one of the leading actors at the military, political and economic level inside and outside the Central Asian country .

Turkey had reported Friday that the ship was heading to the waters of Lebanon after changing course several times; However, Beirut has announced that he was not informed of the plan.

Tensions between Tehran and Washington have increased since Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement and again imposed sanctions against Iran.

For his part, the Secretary of State of the United States, Mike Pompeo, has affirmed that the Iranian oil tanker Adrián Darya is heading to Syria. “We have reliable information that the tank is moving and is heading to Tartus, Syria. I hope it changes course,” Pompeo said through the social network Twitter.

“It was a big mistake to trust Zarif,” he said referring to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamed Javad Zarif, who had given the United Kingdom assurances that the tanker would not sail towards Syria.

Since leaving the agreement in 2018, Trump has followed a “maximum pressure” policy to try to force Iran to hold broader talks to restrict its ballistic missile program and end its support for power forces across the East. Next.

Iran, which has been slowly breaching the nuclear agreement in retaliation for US sanctions, has threatened new violations in early September unless sanctions are reduced.

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