- Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Moussaoui announced the tanker had arrived at its destination.
- US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin confirmed that Washington would continue to impose sanctions on anyone who buys Iranian oil or deals with the Revolutionary Guards.
- The IAEA's interim director general, Cornel Feruta, held talks on "nuclear transparency" with senior Iranian officials in Tehran.
Iran has revealed that the oil tanker Adrian Darya 1, which was released by Gibraltar and blacklisted by the United States, has reached its destination and sold its oil. The Iranian Foreign Ministry made the announcement yesterday, but did not name a buyer. The tanker had been released from Gibraltar last month.
The United States had sought to seize the Adrian Darya 1 for allegedly financing the activities of the Revolutionary Guard. Iranian authorities had also given assurances that the tanker would not go to Syria. However, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Moussaoui announced the tanker had arrived at its destination. Moussaoui said he hoped to release the British tanker Stena Impero, which is being held by the Revolutionary Guards. Iran seized the British oil tanker last July near the Strait of Hormuz for allegedly violating maritime rules two weeks after British forces detained the Iranian tanker near Gibraltar, accusing it of transporting oil to Syria, in violation of EU sanctions.
After reports of an indirect US-Iranian deal allowing the sale of the US blacklisted tanker, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin confirmed that Washington would continue to impose sanctions on anyone who buys Iranian oil or deals with the Revolutionary Guards. The Philippine government has said it will provide assistance to twelve Filipino crew members caught by Iran for alleged oil smuggling at the Strait of Hormuz yesterday.
The IAEA’s interim director general, Cornel Feruta, held talks on “nuclear transparency” with senior Iranian officials in Tehran a day after US National Security Adviser John Bolton confirmed that the IAEA had informed its board of governors that Iran might be hiding nuclear materials and activities. The international official called on Iran to “cooperate fully,” stressing during the meetings the “neutral and professional” efforts of the IAEA to build confidence and verify activities.
Feruta met yesterday with the head of the Iranian Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, to talk about the transparency of Iranian nuclear program, and IAEA monitoring of Iranian nuclear sites under the Vienna Agreement. The Romanian diplomat also met Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Secretary of Iranian Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani.
On the other hand, the Iranian Foreign Minister launched a veiled attack on the IAEA and called on it to abide by “professional principles and keep secrets and neutrality.” Zarif said during a meeting with Feruta that the IAEA supported Iran’s implementation of the terms of the nuclear agreement through several reports issued, stressing the continuation of cooperation. He explained that the Iranian measures to reduce its obligations came in accordance with Article 36 of the nuclear agreement and in response to the “non-commitment” of the European parties to implement their economic commitments under US sanctions.
For his part, the head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization said that the nuclear deal “is not a one-way road and was scheduled to be two-way,” stressing that Iran will take the necessary measures “in due course.” Salehi expressed regret that the EU had not fulfilled its economic commitments.
A day after Iran began its third step by reducing commitments under the nuclear deal, from which the United States withdrew last year, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned that Tehran still had several months to build a nuclear bomb. The French minister said in a television interview, “the channels of dialogue are still open today to save the nuclear deal, but Iran must abandon this type of action.” He urged Iran to halt its moves to reduce its commitments to the 2015 agreement.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday that he intends to visit Russia within days to discuss Iranian and anti-Iranian activities. “There is a high probability that I will visit Moscow later this week to discuss continued military coordination with President Vladimir Putin, in order to avoid any clash over the increased activity of Iran and its followers against us, in exchange for our increased activity against them,” Netanyahu said at the start of his weekly cabinet meeting.
In the context, an analysis published in the Israel newspaper Haaretz says that Netanyahu is preparing for the possibility of improving relations between US President Donald Trump and Iran. Meanwhile, former Tehran prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi, who was jailed over the death of a person in detention after participating in the 2009 protests, was released.