Iranian oil tanker leaves Gibraltar despite US pressure
An Iranian supertanker hauling $130 million worth of light crude oil has lifted its anchor and begun moving away from Gibraltar, marine traffic monitoring data showed late Sunday.
The trail left by GPS data on Marinetraffic.com, a vessel tracking service, showed the Iran-flagged Adrian Darya 1, previously known as Grace 1, moving shortly before midnight. The tanker slowly steered Southeast toward a narrow stretch of international waters separating Morocco and the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula.
An Iranian flag flutters on board the Adrian Darya oil tanker, formerly known as Grace 1, off the coast of Gibraltar on August 18, 2019. [Photo: VCG/AFP/Johnny Bugeja]
The vessel had been detained for a month in the British overseas territory for allegedly attempting to breach European Union sanctions on Syria.
Iran's ambassador to Britain, Hamid Baeidinejad, had earlier announced on Twitter that the ship was expected to leave Sunday night.
Shortly after the tanker's detention in early July near Gibraltar — a British overseas territory — Iran seized the British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero, which remains held by the Islamic Republic. Analysts had said the Iranian ship's release by Gibraltar could see the Stena Impero go free.
(Story includes material sourced from AP.)