The Iranian tanker, involved in the confrontation between Tehran and the West, is traveling to Greece today after leaving Gibraltar, according to shipping surveillance data, hours after that British territory was rejected a demand by the US to relinquish it into its custody.
Britain captured the tanker near Gibraltar in July on suspicion of carrying oil to Syria, a close ally of Iran, in breach of EU sanctions. This has led to increased tensions on the routes of international shipping for the transportation of oil through the Gulf.
Grace 1, renamed Adrian Darya 1, sailed from Gibraltar around 11 pm (local time, midnight Greece time). According to data obtained earlier this morning by Refinitiv, which is monitoring the navigation, the boat is heading to the greater Kalamata area.
Detention of the tanker ended last week, but a federal court in Washington issued a warrant Friday for seizing the tanker, the oil it’s carrying, and nearly $ 1 million. Gibraltar announced yesterday, Sunday, that it cannot comply with this request because it is bound by EU law.
Washington has attempted to detain Grace 1 on the grounds that it has links to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which it has designated as a terrorist organization. Meanwhile, a senior Iranian lawmaker has reportedly said that the crisis in Iran’s relations with Britain, under which Tehran confiscated a British-flagged tanker last month, will not end until the tanker reaches its destination.
“Until the Iranian oil tanker reaches its destination, the British should help bring the crisis to an end,” said Hashmatollah Falahatpesh, a member of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Affairs Committee, according to the semi-official news agency.
“This means that the crisis with Britain is not over. Britain has the primary responsibility to put an end to the crisis in the oil tanker, ”said Falahatpayeh. Iran has denied that its tanker was ever heading for Syria.
Iran has also warned the US against any further attempt to capture the oil tanker offshore after its departure from Gibraltar, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry said today.
Asked if the US might renew its request to arrest the tanker after it left Gibraltar, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said: “Such an action would endanger maritime safety at sea. We have issued a warning through official channels, in particular through the Swiss Embassy. ” Switzerland represents American interests in Iran, which does not maintain diplomatic relations with the US.