Iranian tanker ready to depart Gibraltar

Grace 1, seized over violations of sanctions on Syria, ready to depart Gibraltar despite last-minute effort by US to seize it again.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

British Royal Navy patrol vessel guards the oil supertanker Grace 1
British Royal Navy patrol vessel guards the oil supertanker Grace 1
Reuters

The shipping agent for an Iranian supertanker caught in a diplomatic standoff said on Saturday that the vessel is ready to depart Gibraltar on Sunday or Monday, despite last-minute effort by the US to seize it again, The Associated Press reported.

The head of the company sorting paperwork and procuring for the Grace 1 oil tanker in the British overseas territory said the vessel could be sailing away in the next "24 to 48 hours," once new crews dispatched to the territory take over command of the ship.

"The vessel is ongoing some logistical changes and requirements that have delayed the departure," Astralship managing director Richard De la Rosa told The Associated Press.

De la Rosa's comments came a day after the US obtained a warrant to seize the vessel over violations of US sanctions on Iran.

He added the new crews were Indian and Ukrainian nationals hired by the Indian managers of the ship and that his company had not been informed about the supertanker's next destination.

The UK and Gibraltar seized the Iran-flagged tanker Grace 1 in early July on the grounds that it was attempting to transport oil to Syria, a violation of EU sanctions.

Iran later seized the British-flagged Stena Impero in the Persian Gulf. However, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denied the move was an act of revenge for the capture of the Iranian tanker, claiming Iran had taken measures against the ship to implement international law.




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