(CBC): The U.S. is trying new tactics in its battle of wits against the Iranian regime, offering cash for the captains of Iranian oil tankers to surrender their cargo to American authorities — including one name-changing ship on a slow motion escape across the Mediterranean.
Officials at the U.S. State Department have contacted a number of Iranian oil tankers, informing the captains that if they steer their ships to anywhere the U.S. can impound them, they would be rewarded with up to $15 million and a promise their safety will be assured.
“With this money, you can have any life you wish and be well off in old age,” Brian Hook, who heads the agency’s Iran Action Group, said in an email to Akhilesh Kumar, captain of the Adrian Darya — the tanker loaded down with two million barrels of Iranian crude that it is believed to be trying to offload in Syria.
“If you choose not to take this easy path, life will be much harder for you,” Hook said, according to a report in the Financial Times, which broke the story.
The offer is being made to numerous other crude oil tanker captains, too, the State Department confirmed on Thursday.