Shipping monitors defy claims about Iranian tankers
Shipping monitors have denied claims that an Iranian tanker carrying fuel bound for Lebanon has entered Syrian waters.
Calculations by MarineTraffic and information gathered by TankerTrackers.com would deny a propaganda victory for supporters of Lebanese Shia political group Hezbollah, as fuel shortages hammer the country.
"As per @MarineTraffic's calculations and our sources in Iran, the first tanker is expected to reach the Suez Canal anchorage in two days, on 2021-09-04," tweeted TankerTrackers.com.
The tracking site added the location was an "AIS-mandatory zone", indicating that the ship's location would be verifiable then.
It comes after a report in Lebanon's Al-Akhbar newspaper said that an Iranian ship "loaded with diesel" whose final cargo destination was Lebanon "entered Syrian territorial waters" on Wednesday.
Iran’s state-sponsored Tasnim media had also reported on the alleged "imminent arrival of fuel", which it claimed coincided with a US statement declaring Washington's desire to solve Lebanon's fuel crisis without the need for Iranian diesel.
An American delegation was in Beirut on Thursday, warning that the import of Iranian oil into the crisis-hit country would have dire consequences.
Senator Chris Murphy, a member of that delegation, said that US officials were "working hard to find ways to resolve the fuel crisis".
He stressed that "there is no incentive for Lebanon to rely on Iranian fuel or any other fuel being shipped from Syria".
The US has suggested it would assist Lebanon in securing electricity from Jordan, while aiding the flow of Egyptian gas through Jordan and Syria into northern Lebanon.
The visit comes two weeks after Nasrallah announced that an Iranian fuel tanker had sailed towards Lebanon and that others would follow to ease shortages. No shipment has arrived so far.
The delivery violates US sanctions imposed on Iran after the Trump administration withdrew the US from a nuclear deal with Tehran.