IranIranian supertanker Grace 1 off the coast of Gibraltar on Thursday. Gibraltar’s Supreme Court ruled to release an Iranian supertanker seized last month on suspicion of shipping oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions, despite a last-minute US request to detain the vessel.
A TANKER carrying Iranian oil, released by Gibraltar authorities after being held since July 4, is preparing to set sail into the Mediterranean, a senior Iranian shipping official said on Friday.
The ship’s seizure, with the help of British Royal Marines, had triggered a sharp deterioration in relations between Tehran and London and the tit-for-tat detention by Iran of the British-flagged tanker Stena Impero. The Grace 1 will be renamed and switch to the Iranian flag for its onward journey, the deputy head of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organisation, Jalil Eslami, told State television. “At the owner’s request, the Grace 1 will depart for the Mediterranean after being reflagged under the Islamic Republic of Iran’s flag and renamed as Adrian Darya for the voyage,” Eslami said.
“The ship was of Russian origin and Panama-flagged and is carrying two million barrels of Iranian oil,” he added. Gibraltar’s Supreme Court ordered the tanker released on Thursday after the British overseas territory said it had received written assurances from Iran that the Grace 1 would not head to any country subject to European Union sanctions. The ship had been detained on suspicion that its cargo was destined for oil refinery in Syria. (AFP)