A new report suggests we could be headed toward yet another Grace 1-type incident and showdown involving an Iranian tanker intercept by US or UK forces.
A tanker full of Iranian oil is said to be currently on its way to Dubai, with an ultimate offload destination of its 600,000 barrels of oil in Syria. According to the breaking Fox report, citing unnamed Western intelligence sources:
The Bonita Queen loaded 600,000 barrels of crude oil on August 2 near the Iranian coast at Kharg Island. Shortly after, the tanker was de-flagged by the country of St. Kitts and Nevis, fearing retaliatory U.S. sanctions.
The vessel is now headed to Dubai, where it will refuel before beginning a months-long journey around the horn of Africa, through the Mediterranean and to the shores of Syria.
The Bonita Queen, according to its reported route, intends to link up with two Syrian-owned tankers in the Mediterranean in the coming months, where it will conduct a ship-to-ship transfer of the Iran-sourced crude.
Analysts have claimed to identify the Syrian tankers as the "Kader" and "Jasmine" — described as owned by a businessman said to be close to Assad, Muhammad al-Qatirji. Qatirji and his firm, the Qatirji Company, are under sanction by the US Treasury.
We can't say for sure where Bonita Queen is going because she's still anchored off of Larak Island in the Strait of Hormuz. There are three other vessels currently en route to Syria. Also, BQ still doesn't officially have an Iranian flag, and without it she'll risk arrest at Suez https://t.co/TIb6YyFnnl— TankerTrackers.com, Inc.⚓️🛢 (@TankerTrackers) August 20, 2019
The news comes just as the newly released from Gibraltar/UK custody Iran-flagged Adrian Darya, previously called the Grace 1, is on the move and is headed to waters off Greece.