After at least four months without a cargo of Iranian crude (MEES, 3 May), Syria received a desperate lifeline in May when four Iranian tankers arrived with crude to be refined at the 125,000 b/d Banias refinery on the Mediterranean, according to state-owned daily Al-Watan.

But relief to Syria’s oil products shortage looks short-lived. The US crackdown on Iranian crude exports is making shipments to Syria increasingly difficult, and with Iran’s oil credit line reportedly...