Seized tanker, Grace One leaves Gibraltar after 46 days

The tanker, seized for a total of 46 days, finally leaves Gib for Greece. Source: Facebook / Kasiriivu James

IRANIAN TANKER Grace1, now renamed Adrian Darya, has finally set sail to Greece after 46 days anchored in the Straits of Gibraltar after a turbulent political struggle over the vessel.

The super tanker was detained off the coast of Gibraltar for violating European sanctions on the transport of crude oil to Syria.

The release of the vessel has come after the Gibraltar Government declined a US request for Mutual Legal Assistance in detaining the Grace 1, which comes following a warrant issued on Friday from the United States Department of Justice.

The government says that it cannot comply with the American request as it cannot issue a Supreme Court Order because of the operation of EU law.

The US statement relied on the use of consequences against the US International Emergency Economic Powers Act linked to US sanctions against Iran. Because there are no equivalent measures in place in the UK or the EU, the request cannot be upheld.

The subsequent release of the tanker has also avoided a potential political conflict between the US and Iran after the Middle East country promised “grave consequences” if the US managed to seize the vessel and its cargo.

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James Warren

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