Seized Iranian tanker departs for Kalamata, Greece

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Seized Iranian tanker departs for Kalamata, Greece

The Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya 1 (previously named Grace I) that was detained by Gibraltar has left for Greece following the end of its detention period. On 16th August, a United States’ federal court had issued a warrant for the tanker to be seized along with its cargo of oil, and the $1 million it was set to be carrying.

However, Gibraltar authorities said they could not agree to the warrant since it would have meant violating the European Union norms. Following its release by the Gibraltar authorities, the tanker is reportedly sailing for the Greek port city of Kalamata.

Adrian Darya I was detailed by the British Royal Marines in July. It was alleged that the vessel was ferrying oil to Syria, thereby contravening the European Union’s sanctions on the Middle-eastern country. A couple of weeks after the seizure of Adrian Darya I, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards retaliated by detaining Stena Impero, a tanker that operated under the British flag.

The Stena Impero was seized in the Strait of Hormuz. This exchange of detentions led to an escalation of tension in the socio-political climate between Iran and the west. Iran has throughout this time reiterated that its ship was not transporting oil to Syria.

Speaking to Iranian media, Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh who is the chairman of the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign affairs committee said that in order for his nation’s diplomatic ties to improve with Great Britain, the latter had to cooperate.

“Until the Iranian oil tanker arrives at its destination the British must help end the crisis,” he said. “This means that the crisis with Britain is not over. Britain has the primary responsibility for ending the oil tanker crisis”.