Chariot: now anchored in Dubai after Iran call
Having delivered her cargo of munitions to Syria, the Chariot went on to Turkey. Data from the IHS Fairplay shipping information service show that the Chariot called at Turkey’s Iskenderun Explosives Anchorage, then sailed through the Bosphorus and in late January called at the Ukrainian port of Illichevsk. The Chariot then headed back into the Mediterranean, transited the Suez Canal, rounded the Arabian Peninsula, passed through the Strait of Hormuz, and, arriving about Feb. 29, anchored for 33 hours at the Iranian port of Assaluyeh.
In the eyes of the Russian government, this counts as business as usual. Whether the U.S. and European Union would view it so casually is a different matter. Assaluyeh, located in Iran’s Bushehr Province, is one of seven Iranian ports served by an Iranian port operator, Tidewater Middle East Co., which has been blacklisted by the U.S. and EU as owned or controlled by the proliferation and terror-linked Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. According to the U.S. Treasury, Tidewater “has been used by the IRGC for illicit shipments,” and its Shahid Rajaee container terminal at another Iranian port, Bandar Abbas, “has played a key role in facilitating the Government of Iran’s weapons trade.”
Chariot had been hired, by parties who did not want to be named, on a three-month time charter, starting at the end of November and extending until the end of February. That would imply that the same nameless charterer who dispatched the Chariot to Syria had also dispatched her to Iran. Chariot’s cargo for Iran was all “legal” and consisted of two Ukrainian electrical generators, plus “general cargo.”
But she paused at Pt. Said Egypt from February 6 and passed through Strait of Hormuz on February 27