While the Iranian tanker Grace 1, that was recently released, is sailing across the Mediterranean, the US State Department has come once again to make clear that it does not want any country or entity to help the ship.
The ship was renamed ‘Adrian Darya 1’, while it was also reflagged to Iran. It has now left Gibraltar, as the territory’s supreme court ordered its release.
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Earlier this week, the ship was off Algeria, heading for Kalamata, Greece, where it is expected to arrive later in August. However, both the US and the UK assess that the ship’s cargo of crude oil had Syria as its destination, something that would breach EU sanctions on Syria.
Last month, Royal Marines seized the vessel on behalf of Gibraltar, which detained it while waiting for the result of an investigation. In what can be described as an act of retaliation, Iran seized the UK-flagged tanker Stena Impero, which is still in Iranian custody.
In more recent developments, a US State Department official noted that any help towards the ship could be interpreted as providing support to a US-designated foreign terrorist organization (FTO). In fact, sources report that the State Department has communicated this warning to Greece.
As far as Greece is concerned, the government mentions that it has not received any formal notice from the ship regarding its intent to call at Kalamata or in fact any other Greek port.