Iranian oil tanker leaves Gibraltar under new name
Vessel reportedly headed for Greece after US seizure bid fails
The Iranian oil tanker detained in Gibraltar left territorial waters on Sunday apparently heading for Greece and having changed its name, according to ship tracking data.
The Grace 1, now renamed the Adrian Darya 1, left after a last-ditch attempt by the US to seize the vessel was rejected by Gibraltar authorities.
The MarineTraffic website reported its destination as the Peloponnesian city of Kalamata.
A federal court in Washington on Friday issued a warrant for the seizure of the tanker, its 2m barrels of oil cargo and $1m. Gibraltar rejected the request because it was bound by EU law and did not recognise US sanctions against Iran.
“The EU sanctions regime against Iran – which is applicable in Gibraltar - is much narrower than that applicable in the U.S.,” the government said in a statement.
“The Gibraltar Central Authority is unable to seek an Order of the Supreme Court of Gibraltar to provide the restraining assistance required by the United States of America.”
The tanker was seized by British Royal Marines on July 4 on suspicion it was carrying oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions.
In retaliation, Iran seized the British-flagged tanker Stena Impero in the Gulf in two weeks later. The UK responded by sending a second warship to the Gulf to offer greater protection to merchant shipping.
Iran denied its tanker was heading for Syria and gave a written commitment to Gibraltar that it would not sail to Syria or anywhere else covered by EU sanctions.