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Four Iranian Tankers Head for Syria in Defiance of Sanctions

April 8, 2021
Ahmad Salloum
2 min read
Based on satellite imagery, the website Tanker Trackers reports a fleet of Iranian crude oil tankers are on the way to Syria via the Suez Canal
Based on satellite imagery, the website Tanker Trackers reports a fleet of Iranian crude oil tankers are on the way to Syria via the Suez Canal
One of the ships is understood to be the Arman 114, a US-sanctioned vessel previously known as Adrian Darya 1
One of the ships is understood to be the Arman 114, a US-sanctioned vessel previously known as Adrian Darya 1

According to an April 6 bulletin by the website Tanker Trackers, which specializes in tracking oil tankers, an Iranian tanker carrying a million barrels of oil is on its way to Syria through the Suez Canal. The website indicated that this was part of a larger fleet heading to the port city of Baniyas in Tartous, to the north of which is a large oil refinery.

The US network Fox News has also published a report stating that four vessels carrying millions of barrels of Iranian oil are on their way to Syria, in defiance of US sanction, and based on satellite images taken while they were crossing the Red Sea.

Syria has been suffering from oil shortages and relies mainly on Iranian aid to try to overcome the deficit. With the US having imposed sanctions on both countries, this shortage has turned into a crisis that has caused power outages and petrol rationing.

"There are four ships carrying a combined amount of more than 3 million barrels on their way to Baniyas oil refinery, which is on the Mediterranean coast," Fox reported. A satellite image taken two days previously over the southern part of the Red Sea showed four ships, the Arman 114, Wisam 121, Daran and Romina.

Tanker’s Name Changed

The Arman 114 was previously known as Adrian Darya 1, and was sanctioned by the administration of former US President Donald Trump in August 2019 following attempts to transport oil to Syria.

On Monday, April 5, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said Iran has already managed to sell crude oil in defiance of sanctions. "With regard to restoring Iran's share of the oil market, we have never held back. You can see that in official and unofficial statistics," he added.

According to the Russian news outlet RT, which quoted an unnamed source in the Syrian Oil Transport Company, an Iranian oil tanker arrived at the Baniyas estuary yesterday. The source said "The tanker is carrying one million barrels of oil", without confirming or denying whether the tanker is one of four or whether others will follow.

The Syrian regime's Oil Ministry had announced the late arrival of a tanker carrying oil and oil derivatives to the country due to the disruption of movement at the Suez Canal, revealing that it "intends to rationalize the distribution of available quantities of oil derivatives" to avoid power outages.

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