LONDON - Iran has become Syria's main crude oil buyer, helping Bashar Assad's flailing government to circumvent Western sanctions, as Iranian tankers have returned for a third time since April, shipping industry sources said.
Although Tehran already finds it difficult to sell its own crude under sanctions, two of its ships picked up Syrian oil late in July following a smaller purchase at the start of the same month.
Asia is the likely destination for the Syrian oil but the sources said it remained unclear where the previous cargoes ended up.
Iran sells its own crude to only a handful of buyers compared to its previous client list. China, India, Japan, Turkey have still been buying after overcoming shipping obstacles and South Korea will probably resume next month.
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