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Iranian Oil Tanker Adrian Darya Heading Toward Lebanon - Turkey's Foreign Minister

© AFP 2021 / JOHNNY BUGEJAAn Iranian flag flutters on board the Adrian Darya oil tanker, formerly known as Grace 1, off the coast of Gibraltar on August 18, 2019.
An Iranian flag flutters on board the Adrian Darya oil tanker, formerly known as Grace 1, off the coast of Gibraltar on August 18, 2019. - Sputnik International
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The oil tanker Adrian Darya was seized by Gibraltar on 4 July on suspicion of shipping oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions and was released on 15 August.

The crew of the oil tanker Adrian Darya 1, formerly known as the Grace 1, has changed its registered destination in its Automatic Identification System to Iskenderun, Turkey, a shipping source stated.

​However, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has dismissed the report, saying that the Adrian Darya 1 is heading to Lebanon, not Turkey. 

Later, though, Cavusoglu stated, as cited by Reuters, that he didn't mean that the tanker was heading to a Lebanese port. He, however, expressed certainty that the tanker is not coming to a Turkish port.

Lebanon's Finance Minister, in turn, has stated that Beirut has not been informed that the tanker is heading toward Lebanon. 

Meanwhile, a source in the Turkish port of Mersin stated on 29 August that the tanker would enter Turkish territorial waters and head toward Mersin to be unloaded there.

Iran emphasised earlier this month that it was considering sending naval ships to escort the Adrian Darya 1 tanker, formerly known as Grace 1.

After it was held for a month, a Gibraltar court ordered the release of the ship on 15 August despite a last-minute request by the US to extend its detention.

However, the authorities of Gibraltar rejected the United States' request to extend the detainment of the tanker, citing differences in US and European sanctions against Iran.

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