Freed Iranian oil tanker Grace 1 to sail off as 'Adrian Darya-1'
19 August 2019
Grace 1, the Iranian super tanker seized by Gibraltar, is reported to be all set to sail off as `Adrian Darya’ and under the Iranian flag, after the Supreme Court of the British territory lifted its detention order.
Grace 1, which is currently anchored in the Strait of Gibraltar, is ready to depart Gibraltar in "24 to 48 hours," despite a last-minute effort by the United States to seize it again, reports said on Saturday.
Reports citing Richard de la Rosa, managing director of the shipping agent for the Iranian supertanker, Astralship, said on Saturday that logistical preparations are underway and that a new crew of Indian and Ukrainian nationals is expected to take command of the ship, which is carrying 2.1 million tonnes of Iranian oil.
The ship was detained for over a month in Gibraltar for allegedly attempting to breach European Union sanctions on Syria.
British Royal Marines seized the vessel in Gibraltar in July on suspicion that it was carrying oil to Syria, a close ally of Iran, in violation of European Union sanctions.
The Grace 1 had originally flown the Panamanian flag but Panama’s Maritime Authority said in July that the vessel had been de-listed after an alert that or was linked it to terror financing.
Gibraltar lifted a detention order on the vessel on Thursday even as the United States made a last-ditch legal appeal to hold it.
A federal court in Washington on Friday issued a warrant for the seizure of the tanker, the oil it carries and nearly $1 million, but Gibraltar did not comply with the US court’s order stating that EU laws prevail.
“The Central Authority’s inability to seek the orders requested is a result of the operation of European Union law and the differences in the sanctions regimes applicable to Iran in the EU and the US,” a Gibraltar government statement said.
“The EU sanctions regime against Iran – which is applicable in Gibraltar - is much narrower than that applicable in the US.”