Iranian Oil Tanker Turns Around And Heads West From Turkey

Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya 1, which has been traveling in the Mediterranean since Gibraltar released it two weeks ago, appears to have reversed course away from Turkey and is now heading westward, RFE/RL reported on Thursday, citing data from ship-tracking website MarineTraffic.

Adrian Darya 1, under her former name Grace 1, was detained by the British overseas territory Gibraltar in early July on suspicion of violating the European Union sanctions on Syria. Earlier this month, Gibraltar released the Iranian tanker after Tehran gave assurances its oil cargo wouldn’t go to Syria.

Days after the U.S. warned, again, that anyone dealing with the Iranian oil tanker released by Gibraltar would face sanctions, Iran said on Monday that it had sold the crude oil cargo aboard the now notorious tanker. Iran doesn’t know where the tanker is headed now, Iranian media quoted Ali Rabiee, a spokesman for the Iranian administration, as saying on Monday.

Grace 1, under her new name Adrian Darya 1, left Gibraltar more than a week ago after the government of Gibraltar said it is unable to seek an Order of the Supreme Court of Gibraltar to provide the restraining assistance that the U.S. had required to keep the tanker detained.

Adrian Darya 1 was traveling south of Greece last week, before signaling on Saturday that she could be bound for the Turkish port of Mersin, while the U.S. continued to warn that it would go after everyone touching the tanker or the oil aboard.

On Sunday, U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton tweeted: “All hands on deck in the campaign to stop Iran from funding terror, destabilizing the globe, and breaking international sanctions. The illicit oil heading to Turkey on the Adrian Darya 1 must not be allowed off-loaded in port or at sea.”

According to Refinitiv Eikon shipping data carried by Reuters, the Adrian Darya 1—west of the island of Crete in the Mediterranean as of Monday—was no longer recorded as bound for Turkey.

 

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com