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Turkish Minister: Iranian Tanker Headed To Lebanon, Not Turkey
By Staff, Agencies
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Friday an Iranian oil tanker, now in waters south of Turkey and at the center of a confrontation between Washington and Tehran, was headed for Lebanon.
Lebanese Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil later told Reuters that Lebanon had not been informed whether the Adrian Darya-1 was heading to one of its ports.
Tracking site Marine Traffic showed earlier Friday that the Adrian Darya-1, formerly called Grace-1, had changed course again and was headed for the southeastern Turkish port of Iskenderun. Cavusoglu was speaking with reporters in Norway.
However, tracking site Marine Traffic showed the Adrian Darya-1 was now headed for the southeastern Turkish port of Iskenderun.
Iskenderun is roughly 200 km north of the Baniyas refinery in Syria – the suspected original destination of the tanker.
Carrying 2 million barrels of oil, the Adrian Darya-1 was released from detention off Gibraltar in mid-August after a five-week standoff over whether it was carrying Iranian oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions.
The US has warned countries in the region not to assist the vessel.
An Iranian government spokesperson was quoted Monday as saying Iran had sold the oil aboard the tanker and that the vessel's owner, whose identity he did not disclose, would decide its destination.
After its release, it stated that its destination was the Greek port of Kalamata, then Turkey's Mersin. On Thursday, it abruptly changed course, making almost a U-turn away from the Turkish coast.
While west of Cyprus Friday morning, it did a similar maneuver, doubling back on itself.
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