US offered Iranian ship captain millions in exchange for cooperation

WASHINGTON (dpa)- The US State Department on Thursday confirmed that it offered the captain of the Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya several million dollars to move the ship to a country that would impound the vessel on behalf of the United States.
The Adrian Darya's Indian captain received the offer on August 26 in an email from Brian Hook, the top Iran official at the State Department, according to the Financial Times in a story on Wednesday.

The State Department spokesperson confirmed to dpa that the details of the Financial Times article were accurate and said the US had made other similar offers.
Hook's message came 11 days after the Iranian tanker was released by Gibraltar, where it had been held over suspicions it was carrying Iranian oil to Syria in violation of EU and US sanctions. The Supreme Court of the British overseas territory granted the tanker free passage in mid-August.
The captain didn't respond to the offer and was subsequently sanctioned by the US.
The offer is part of the US maximum pressure campaign on Iran to persuade the country to negotiate a new deal on nuclear weapons proliferation. The US withdrew from the existing international nuclear deal last year and began reinstating crippling economic sanctions on Iran, including a ban on oil exports.
The Adrian Darya engaged in sanctionable conduct under US law, the spokesperson said. The spokesperon said rewards are available to anyone who helps disrupt attempts by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) to ship oil to Syria and elsewhere to fund terrorist activity.

Friday, September 6th 2019

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