Millions of barrels of crude oil are en route to Syria from Iran, violating US sanctions.
According to a civil naval intelligence firm, there are four ships with more than 3 million barrels combined on their way to the Baniyas oil refinery, near the Mediterranean coast.
A satellite photo captured two days ago over the southern section of the Red Sea shows four vessels: Arman 114, Sam 121, Daran and Romina.
The Arman 114 was previously known as Adrian Darya 1, a vessel at the center of the confrontation between the United States and Iran in the summer of 2019. It was sanctioned by the Trump administration in August 2019, following its attempts to transfer the oil to Syria. .
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Syria has been battling oil shortages, relying mainly on Iranian aid. However, with heavy sanctions on the two countries, the shortage has turned into a crisis, causing power outages and gasoline rationing.
Once the ships arrive, analysts believe they will supply Syria with enough oil for three weeks.
“Currently, one of the four Iranian tankers has crossed the Suez Canal carrying crude oil for the Syrian refinery in Baniyas,” Samir Madani, co-founder of Tanker Trackers, told Fox News. The Romina has turned off its AIS, a move familiar to Iranian tankers to avoid tracking.
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“Only the first 900,000 barrels are now in the Mediterranean and could reach Syria by Wednesday at the earliest. Recent delays in the Suez Canal due to EVER DADA, as well as today’s mishap, have exacerbated the crisis for a population 17 million, “he added. Madani said.
Saeed Khatibzadeh, the spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, told reporters at his weekly press conference on April 5 that Iran has already been able to sell crude oil in defiance of sanctions. “As for regaining Iran’s share of the oil market, we have never waited, and it can be seen in the official and unofficial statistics,” he said.
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Iranian Press TV reported Monday, according to an anonymous source, that Iran will agree to return to commitments under the nuclear deal only if the United States removes all sanctions imposed against it.
“Iran will begin its measures to return to the JCPOA commitments only after the removal of all US sanctions and their verification,” the report said.
Talks resumed in Vienna on Tuesday.