In a blatant breach of European Union sanctions, Adrian Darya-1 offloaded its oil to Syria, with Iran terming it as a simple monetary transaction. This has lead 10 Downing Street in a precarious position as Iran broke its promise over a verbal and written confirmation that it would not sell the oil to Syria.
The situation is of great embarrassment to Britain and Gibraltar officials as well at the moment. Strangely, Britain went to lengths to defy the United States’ request to withhold the supertanker Adrian Darya-1 (then Grace-1) pretty confident that Iran would keep its side of the deal.
Ironically, Iran had given assurances on five occasions that it would keep its side of the bargain.
The supertanker was initially seized in July this year, with the help of UK Royal Marines, was released after Iran gave written assurances that it was not bound for Syria. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has expressed Britain’s anger and disappointment as he has summoned the Iranian Ambassador to Britain Hamid Baeidinejad to explain this disappointment move of non-compliance.
The Adrian Darya-1 was originally listed to move to Turkey and then Greece when it was released after being detained in Gibraltar for six weeks. But the US sent out clear messages of severe sanctions against nations that would home the supertanker. Its course was then left undefined as it drifted in the Mediterranean Sea, only to be docked at Syria later.
This isn’t the first time that Britain has felt let down by Iran. In fact, Iran has shown inefficiency and casualness to address various issues where British born citizens have been harassed by Iranian authorities and have been detained on spurious grounds in the last few weeks. Speaking to the Guardian, a former Middle East minister Alistair Burt is right in saying that ‘those in the UK government who would have liked to build a new relationship with Iran in the wake of the 2015 nuclear deal feel very badly let down by Tehran.’ Britain is now planning to raise this issue of ‘Iran’s unacceptable violation of international norms” at the UN General Assembly later this month.