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Destination unknown for Iranian oil tanker on the move again

By
Nicholas Sakelaris
Government officials denied a claim Friday that the Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya 1 is headed to Lebanon. File Photo by Carrasco Ragel/EPA-EFE 
Government officials denied a claim Friday that the Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya 1 is headed to Lebanon. File Photo by Carrasco Ragel/EPA-EFE 

Aug. 30 (UPI) -- The Iranian oil tanker that has caused far-reaching angst in the Mediterranean Sea has changed course again, provoking new debate about where it's headed now.

The Adrian Darya 1 appeared to be on course for Mersin, Turkey, but the MarineTraffic website showed Thursday it's heading west.

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Turkish officials said Friday it's now set on a course for Lebanon -- a claim Beirut denied.

The United States threatened sanctions this month for any nation that assists the oil tanker, which has been suspected of carrying crude oil bound for Syria -- which would violate international rules. At one point last week, the ship appeared to be bound for Greece, but officials in Athens said they wouldn't accept the tanker.

The ship's destination appeared to be Baniyas, Syria, when the ship first left Iran earlier this summer under the name Grace 1. Royal British Marines seized the ship in Gibraltar until Tehran assured authorities it wouldn't go to Syria.

The 2.1 million barrels of crude oil aboard the ship could be worth as much as $130 million. Iran said this week it had found a buyer for the crude but didn't say who.

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