The Iranian vessel that was seized by the British Royal Marines was carrying an estimated two million barrels of oil destined for the Syrian port–city of Tartous, a Syrian government source told Al-Masdar News.
The Iranian supertanker, Grace 1, reportedly took an unorthodox route that resulted in the vessel bypassing the heavily monitored Suez Canal; however, the ship was being closely monitored by the British authorities, who later deployed their Royal Marines to seize it.
The government source said the supertanker’s oil was eventually destined for the Baniyas Refinery in northwestern Tartous; it was being repaired after a mysterious attack on Syria’s Mediterranean pipeplines.
Syria, who is under heavy sanctions from the E.U. and the United States, was reliant on this Iranian oil shipment, as the country uses the petrol for a number of different purposes, including things like providing electricity to the Syrian people.
Since U.S. President Donald Trump took office in late 2016, Iran has found themselves under the same sanctions that were imposed on the Islamic Republic before the implementation of the 2015 Nuclear deal.
These western sanctions have restricted Iran from delivering oil to war–torn Syria, which has left the Syrian people in a dire situation.
In addition to blocking foreign oil from reaching Syria’s shores, the U.S and their Coalition partners are in control of most of the Levantine country’s oil fields.
The U.S. has specifically blocked this oil from reaching millions of Syrians living under the government, which is where most of the population lives.