Advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) says two Iranian tankers are unloading their cargoes at the Baniyas Single Buoy Mooring (SBM) and a third is on its way to the port.
UANI Chief of Staff Claire Jungman published the photo of the tankers in a tweet on Friday explaining that Iranian tankers Daran and Golroo are discharging at the Baniyas SBM, while Arman 114 is engaged in an STS transfer with Traden, which is sailing under the flag of Cameroon after repairs in Turkey earlier this year.
In order to avoid detection of the destination of its cargo, Iran usually uses ship-to-ship transfers, in which the vessels turn off their transponders at the sea and secretly transfer oil cargo.
According to data by the UANI, Syria is the second largest importer of the Iranian oil after China. The Islamic Republic delivered more than 111,000 barrels of oil per day to Syria in the previous month.
It is not clear whether or how Iran is being paid for the shipments, whose value only for the month of May is over $400 million with current oil prices.
Earlier in the month, UANI called on six Chinese banks to end all financial transactions with Iran.
As part of ‘maximum pressure’ sanctions introduced in 2018 on leaving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order threatening punitive US action against any third party dealing with Iran’s financial sector.