Iran’s foreign ministry has said the release of the tanker from Gibraltar ADRIAN DARYA 1 will not impact any decision to free the British flagged STENA IMPERO of which Iran has warned the US against any attempt to seize the oil tanker.
The Iranian controlled vessel, formerly known as GRACE 1 but renamed by Iran as the ADRIAN DARYA I is sailing through the Mediterranean after leaving Gibraltar, a British territory late on Sunday despite an attempt by the US over the weekend to block her departure. She was detained for seven weeks. The ship is carrying 2.1m barrels of oil and was bound to Kalamata, Greece.
Iran has declared the decision to release the ship to be a victory over Washington.Asked whether the US might renew its seizure request, Iranian foreign ministry has said “such an action… would endanger shipping safety” in open seas. “We have issued a warning through official channels, especially the Swiss embassy, to American officials not to commit such an error because it would have heavy consequences,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyed Abbas Moussavi said on state television on Monday. Switzerland represents US interests in Iran. Tehran has no official diplomatic relations with Washington.
On Monday 19th August the United States warned Greek and other Mediterranean ports that providing assistance to the ship would be interpreted as providing material support to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which Washington considers a foreign terrorist organisation. Facilitating the tanker carries potential immigration and criminal consequences, a US State Department official warned.
In fact she changed her destination to Turkey on Friday 23rd August night and then for orders over the weekend.
The United States has told all Mediterranean ports not to assist the ship, as the US says the vessel is linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, which is deemed as a terrorist organisation in Washington. John Bolton, Donald Trump’s national security advisor, tweeted a few hours ago, “The illicit oil heading to Turkey on the Adrian Darya 1 must not be allowed off-loaded in port or at sea.”