Iran said Monday it warned Washington of a seizure of its tanker, which left the waters of the British territory of Gibraltar the previous day where he had been held for weeks.
"Iran has sent the necessary warnings to US officials through official channels (...) not to make such an error because it would have serious consequences," Abbas Moussavi, a spokesman for the press, told reporters. Iranian Foreign Affairs.
According to the Marine Traffic Marine Traffic Monitoring website, the oil tanker that had been immobilized since July 4 off the coast of Gibraltar, weighed anchor in the evening of Sunday and was sailing south. The Gibraltar authorities have not confirmed his departure, and the blur remains on his destination and the fate of his cargo.
Gibraltar had boarded the oil tanker suspected of carrying oil to Syria under European sanctions against Syria. The tanker was cleared Thursday to leave when Tehran assured that the cargo of 2.1 million barrels would not be delivered to Syria.
Renamed Adrian Darya, this tanker went under the Iranian flag, and the flag of Iran floated on Sunday at its stern. He was previously sailing under the Panamanian flag and was named Grace 1.
According to a statement released on Sunday, the Gibraltar authorities denied the seizure sought by Washington under US law sanctions. "Under European law, Gibraltar is unable to lend the assistance requested by the United States," they said.
The boarding of Grace 1 caused a serious crisis between London and Tehran, which denied that the ship was heading for Syria. Iran seized a British tanker, the Stena Impero, in the Strait of Hormuz 15 days later.
On this last point, the Iranian spokesman rejected the idea of retaliation. "There is no connection between these two ships," Mousavi said.
"There have been two or three maritime violations committed by this ship," he said in reference to the British-flagged Stena Impero, which is still in Tehran's hands.
"The court is looking into this case and we hope that the investigation will be completed as soon as possible and that the verdict will be delivered" quickly, the spokesman added.
© 2019 AFP