Iran sells oil from tanker freed by Gibraltar

Iran sells oil from tanker freed by Gibraltar to unnamed buyer
2 min read
26 August, 2019
The Adrian Darya 1 was seized by Gibraltar police and British special forces in July on suspicion of shipping oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions.
The tanker's final port of call is unknown. [Getty]

Iran said on Monday it had sold the oil aboard a tanker that was released this month after being detained for six weeks by the British overseas territory of Gibraltar.

The Adrian Darya 1, formerly named the Grace 1, was seized by Gibraltar police and British special forces on 4 July on suspicion of shipping oil to Syria in breach of European Union sanctions.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has sold the oil of this ship and right now the owner and buyer of the oil decides... what the destination of the consignment will be," Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei said, quoted by state media.

He did not identify the buyer or say whether the oil had been sold before or after the tanker's detention in the Strait of Gibraltar, on Spain's southern tip.

A court in the British territory ordered the tanker's release on 15 August despite a last-minute legal bid by the US to have it detained.

The Adrian Darya 1 set sail three days later for the eastern Mediterranean, carrying 2.1 million barrels of oil worth more than $140 million.

Read more: Will the release of the Adrian Darya-1 affect US-UK relations?

The tanker's final port of call is unknown. It had initially listed its destination as Kalamata, Greece before switching it to Mersin, Turkey.

It is now located in the middle of the Mediterranean, its target listed as "for order" meaning it is waiting for its next destination, according to the website MarineTraffic.

Rabiei said the sale and delivery of the oil would go ahead despite the ship being tracked by the US.

"The destination is determined by the owner of the oil," the Iranian government spokesman said, according to state television.

He accused the US of "constantly monitoring" the tanker and threatening other countries not to receive it.

"This is more evidence for America's interference at the global level," he said.

Follow us on Twitter: @The_NewArab