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    Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya 1, previously named Grace 1

    Iranian Navy Ready to Escort Oil Tanker Sought by US: Done It in Gulf, Can Do It Anywhere

    © REUTERS / Jon Nazca
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    An Iranian tanker was arrested by authorities in British overseas territory Gibraltar last month over a tip from the US that the ship allegedly was carrying oil for Syria thus undermining EU sanctions against the country. Tehran has denied Washington's claims.

    The Iranian Navy's Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari stated on 25 August that the country's naval forces are ready to escort the oil tanker Adrian Darya (formerly known as the Grace 1), recently released by Gibraltar authorities after more than a month-long detention, if Tehran deems it necessary.

    "Iran's naval forces have already safeguarded over 6,000 vessels passing through the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden and are ready to escort Iranian vessels anytime and anywhere that is needed", the admiral said.

    The Iranian oil tanker, Grace 1, was arrested in Gibraltar by local authorities on 4 July over a tip from the US, claiming that the vessel was delivering its cargo to Syria thereby violating the EU's sanctions against Damascus. Tehran slammed the detention as an illegal act of "piracy" and demanded the ship be released immediately.

    Following a probe by Gibraltar into Washington’s claims, the Grace 1 was set free on 15 August despite a last minute effort by the US to prevent it by issuing an arrest warrant, something which was rejected by the UK overseas territory's authorities. Upon its release the tanker then changed its name to Adrian Darya.

    A crew member checks the new name of Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya, formerly known as Grace 1, off the coast of Gibraltar on August 18, 2019. - Gibraltar rejected a US demand to seize the Iranian oil tanker at the centre of a diplomatic dispute as it prepared to leave the British overseas territory after weeks of detention.
    © AFP 2019 / JOHNNY BUGEJA
    A crew member checks the new name of Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya, formerly known as Grace 1, off the coast of Gibraltar on August 18, 2019. - Gibraltar rejected a US demand to seize the Iranian oil tanker at the centre of a diplomatic dispute as it prepared to leave the British overseas territory after weeks of detention.

    The US is still seeking to detain the tanker under the arrest warrant, which was filed with a sloppy mistake. In light of the reports that the ship might dock in Greece, Washington warned Athens, as well as other countries and their businesses that they might face US sanctions if they "assist" the Iranian tanker in any way. The most recent reports indicate that the Adrian Darya is heading for Turkey.

    The Iranian tanker’s brief detention caused a row between Tehran and London, which was followed by the detention of a British tanker in the Persian Gulf by Iranian authorities over alleged maritime violations. Tehran, however, claimed that the detention was not tied to the spat around the Grace 1.

    Related:

    Iran's Grace 1 Oil Tanker Leaves Gibraltar (Video)
    Iran Warns US Against Detaining Iranian Oil Tanker in International Waters - Tehran
    'No Request' From Iran Tanker to Dock in Greece, Claims Minister as US Warns Against Aiding Vessel
    US Issues Warrant to Seize Iranian Grace 1 Oil Tanker - Justice Department
    Iranian Tanker Grace 1 Leaving Gibraltar After Month-Long Arrest
    Tags:
    oil tanker, Iran, US, Iranian Navy
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