[Updated] Renamed Grace 1 Raises Iranian Flag
The Grace 1, the Iranian tanker that has been detained in Gibraltar, has been renamed the Adrian Darya 1 and raised the Iranian flag in preparation for departure on Sunday night. The maritime traffic monitoring site Refinitiv shows the vessel left around 2100GMT, giving a destination of Kalamata in Greece.
Gibraltar refused a U.S. request to keep the vessel in detention after a Washington court issued a warrant for her re-seizure. The U.S. believes the tanker's operation is linked to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and issued the warrant calling for the seizure of the tanker, the oil it carries and nearly $1 million. Reuters reports the Gibraltar government stating it coud not detain the vessel further due to the bounds of E.U. law. “The E.U. sanctions regime against Iran - which is applicable in Gibraltar - is much narrower than that applicable in the U.S.”
Iran has said that it is ready to provide a naval escort for the Adrian Darya-1 if required.
However, U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters on Sunday that “Iran would like to talk.” He believes this willingness is due to economic conditions in the country.
British Royal Marines seized the Grace 1 in Gibraltar in July on suspicion that she was carrying oil to Syria, an ally of Iran, in violation of European Union sanctions.
Last Thursday, the U.S. State Department said that it will use an anti-terrorism law to deny visas to seafarers who work aboard vessels carrying Iranian oil.