On Thursday the US State Department slammed the Iranian government for its deceit and "web of lies" regarding the destination of the previously detained tanker Adrian Darya.
When asked about the Iranian tanker's recent delivery of oil to Syria, spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said, “I think the importance here to our friends around the world in the international community is to note that once again you have been lied to and misled by the Iranian regime.”
Ortagus said Tehran blatantly lied to UK/Gibraltar authorities about its intent to offload its 2.1 million barrels of Iranian oil.
“The Iranian regime broke its word and appears intent on fueling the Assad regime’s brutality against the Syrian people, who continue to face widespread violence, death and destruction,” Ortagus stated. “This fits into the web of lies perpetrated by the Iranian regime for 40 years,” she said.
“Their deception and broken promises are not just aimed at the international community but the Iranian people, too,” she added. It's believed the Adrian Darya conducted a ship-to-ship transfer while waiting off Syria's coast, near the port of Tartus.
Asked if the United States had evidence that the ship had offloaded its crude oil to Syria, State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus told reporters: “Yeah... The Iranian regime delivered oil to Syria, and that fuel goes straight into the tanks of troops that are slaughtering innocent Syrians.” — Reuters
This appears to be the first high level US government confirmation that Iran has indeed successfully unloaded the Adrian Darya's oil to Syria, which Iranian officials previously acknowledged was purchased by what headlines said was an "unknown buyer".
The whole saga which began with the supertanker's being boarded and seized by UK Royal Marines included the United States trying every tactic short of military intervention to halt its path, from pressuring Gibraltar courts to issuing a ship "seizure warrant" to offering a bounty, to even bribing the ship's captain with millions of dollars.
But with Bolton out as national security adviser, it appears President Trump is ready for fresh, direct negotiations with Iran's leadership, which is rumored to even include the possibility of easing sanctions.