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Iran oil tanker sought by US again says it will go to Turkey

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DUBAI:  An Iranian oil tanker pursued by the U.S. on Friday again listed its destination as Turkey but the Turkish foreign minister added to the confusion by saying the vessel is headed to Lebanon — statements that were promptly denied in Beirut.

The flurry of contradictory statements further muddies the waters for the Adrian Darya 1, formerly known as the Grace 1, and obscures where its 2.1 million barrels of oil will ultimately go.

The tanker has taken center stage recently amid a crisis roiling the Persian Gulf and escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers over a year ago. The vessel’s detention and later release by Gibraltar has fueled the growing tensions.

The tanker on Friday changed its listed destination in its Automatic Identification System to Iskenderun, Turkey, a small port on the Mediterranean Sea.

However, mariners can input any destination into the AIS, so Turkey may not be its true destination. On Aug. 24, it had listed its destination as Mersin, Turkey, before removing that from its system. Earlier, it had said it was going to Greece.

Iskenderun is some 200 kilometers (125 miles) by sea from a refinery in Baniyas, Syria, where authorities alleged the Adrian Darya had been heading before being seized off Gibraltar in early July.

Iranian state media and officials did not immediately acknowledge the new reported destination of the Adrian Darya, which carries Iranian crude worth some $130 million.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu denied the tanker was heading to Iskenderun and claimed it was going to Lebanon. Speaking in Oslo, Norway, the diplomat said the Turkish state and Turkish private companies were no longer buying oil from Iran, in line with U.S. sanctions.

On Monday, Iran said the oil on the Adrian Darya had been sold to an unnamed buyer. However, anyone buying it likely would be targeted by U.S. financial sanctions. Analysts have suggested Iran may choose to offload the oil onto another ship first, given the international attention focused on the Adrian Darya.

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IRCTC is starting its luxury train ‘Golden Chriot’ from tomorrow

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IRCTC, the online ticket booking arm of Indian Railways, is going to start services of its luxury train Golden Chariot once again. Officials said that we would like to inform you that IRCTC is going to conduct the voyages through Golden Chariot again from tomorrow on 14 March 2O21. The train operated by the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) was temporarily closed last year due to a lack of passengers.

According to IRCTC, three packages have been kept on the train. This train will start from Bengaluru and return to Bengaluru via Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Goa. The booking of which can be done through the official website of the luxury train.

The Golden Chariot is equipped with padded furniture, renovated rooms and bathrooms, new linen and cutlery. This luxury train also has a smart TV with a Wi-Fi facility. Apart from this, security features like CCTV and fire protection have also been upgraded in the train. The food menu of the train has also been prepared in a new way. All safety standards will be followed in the wake of corona infection.

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