RED-FACED Dominic Raab blasted Iran yesterday after a sanction-busting oil tanker released by Gibraltar turned up in Syria.
The Foreign Secretary summoned the Iranian Ambassador to “condemn” Tehran for going back on its word not to flog its crude to Bashar al-Assad.
The gaffe is likely to incense the US – which issued a warrant for the seizure of the Adrian Darya ship last month to try and prevent it sailing from the ‘Rock’.
Iran’s foreign ministry on Sunday said the tanker had reached its final destination “on the Mediterranean coast”.
Satellite imagery revealed it was off the coast of Syria.
In a statement, Mr Raab said: “Iran has shown complete disregard for its own assurances over Adrian Darya 1.
“This sale of oil to Assad’s brutal regime is part of a pattern of behaviour by the Government of Iran designed to disrupt regional security.
“We want Iran to come in from the cold but the only way to do that is to keep its word and comply with the rules based international system.”
The tanker was seized by British marines in July when it was moored off the coast of Gibraltar for breaking EU sanctions on Syria.
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On 15 August, Gibraltar released it when Iran gave assurances it would not sail to the war-torn state. US officials offered the ship’s Indian captain millions to take the oil to a port where it could be impounded by the US.
Since leaving Gibraltar the tanker has been photographed off the Russian navy port of Tartus in Syria. Iran has repeatedly insisted it is not subject to the EU sanctions regime.
Iran impounded the British-flagged vessel Stena Impero in retaliation for the seizure off the Adrain Darya. Last week it released the Stena Impero’s seven crew.
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