Iran warns US against re-impounding tanker freed by Gibraltar as it sails to Greece

Iran warns US against re-impounding tanker freed by Gibraltar as it sails to Greece US attempts to re-seize an Iranian oil tanker that was released by Gibraltar last week may end badly, Tehran has warned. The vessel is now heading towards Greece, according to maritime tracking data.

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The ship, which was detained last month by Gibraltar authorities, left the British territory late on Sunday despite an order issued by a US federal court in Washington on Friday, which warranted its renewed seizure. Gibraltar said it was operating under EU laws and thus was not bound to enforce orders from a US court.

Continued attempts by Washington to impound the tanker are a threat to international freedom of navigation, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi told the media on Monday, as by IRNA news agency. He said Tehran sent a message to the US warning against such actions, stating that there would otherwise be bad consequences.

The ship, which was renamed from ‘Grace 1’ to ‘Adrian Darya 1’ after changing flag, is currently sailing to Kalamata in Greece, according to tracking data. Britain seized it in July at the request of the US, which alleged that the vessel was trying to violate EU sanctions by delivering its cargo to Syria.

Iran called the detention an act of international piracy and threatened retaliation. It later seized a British-flagged tanker, ‘Stena Impero,’ in the Strait of Hormuz for allegedly violating maritime rules. Asked if the British tanker would now also be released, Mousavi said it was up to an Iranian court to decide.

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