The Iranian oil tanker at the middle of a diplomatic dispute has departed from Gibraltar after the British overseas territory has rejected the demand of Americans to seize the vessel.
According to Marine Traffic, the supertanker had been detained since July 4 off the Coast of Gibraltar – lifted anchor in the last evening and commenced sailing to South.
However, authorities in the British overseas territory haven’t yet confirmed its departure.
On July 4, Gibraltar has seized the Grace 1 alleged that it was illegally transporting oil to Syria in breach of European Union Sanctions, provoked a sharp deterioration in relations between London and Tehran. Iran has frequently rejected any violations.
Last Thursday, a Gibraltar Judge has directed the release of the oil tanker, with Iranian officials claims that a new crew had arrived to pilot the vessel, renamed as Adrian Darya along with its 2.1 million barrels of oil.
On Friday, the United States Justice Department has lodged a last-minute request to detain the vessel, reported it was involved in supporting illegal transportation to Syrian by Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which is marked as a terrorist outfit by Washington.
The Government of Gibraltar has rejected the request, claims it couldn’t seek a court order to detain the Grace 1as the United States Sanctions against Iran weren’t applicable in the European Union (EU).
Today, the vessel had turned towards East, although its actual destination was not clear.
Its decision to release the oil tanker, Gibraltar said that it has received permission from Iran that the vessel wouldn’t head to any nation, subjected to the EU Sanctions.
Iran has rejected that it had made promises about the destination of the ship to secure its release.
“Iran has given no assurances over the Grace 1 not going to Syria to secure its release,” said Abbas Mousavi, a spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry.
The United States State Department has threatened to issue a visa ban on anyone working on the vessel.
The July 4 detaintion amid rising tensions in the Gulf after various reported Iranian attacks on small vessels.
Iran has termed the move an “illegal interception” staged by the United States, while Washington has acknowledged it as “excellent news”.
Iran has eventually detained the British-flagged oil tanker Stena Imperio in what was considered as a counter move.
Ties between Washington and Tehran have ragged since President Trump has withdrew in 2018 form a landmark 2015 Nuclear Deal between two major powers and Iran, reimposing disabled unilateral sanctions.