According to the Iranian Mehr News Agency reported on the 18th, the country’s naval commander Hussein Hamzadi announced on the same day that if necessary, the Iranian navy will escort the tanker “Grace 1”, which was previously detained by the United Kingdom, to protect it from entering Iran. territorial sea.
Hanzadi said that as long as Iranian officials demanded, the Navy is ready to send a fleet to escort the tanker, which has been renamed “Adrian Daria One”, to return to Iran. According to a Reuters report on the 18th, the British authorities in the British overseas territories issued a statement on the same day, once again rejecting the US request to seize Iranian tankers. The statement said that EU law applies in Gibraltar, while the United States and the EU have different sanctions for Iran. Photo and video materials released by Reuters on the 18th show that the “Adrianda Daria One” has a new name on the side and the Iranian flag on the mast. The tanker was originally linked to the Panamanian flag, but the Pakistani authorities said in July that the ship had been removed from the Panamanian authorities after receiving warnings that the tanker was suspected of financing terrorist organizations. The Iranian ambassador to the United Kingdom, Baedi Nejad, said on the 18th that the change of “Grace No. 1” has nothing to do with evading US sanctions because the tanker was not sanctioned.
Regarding the current whereabouts of “Adrian Daria One”, various media reports are different. Reuters reported on the 18th that the Iranian tanker is still in Gibraltar. However, the Iranian Mehr News Agency said that the tanker has left. Israel’s Jerusalem Post said on the 18th that the tanker could soon sail to Syria or other regions.
On July 4, the Gibraltar authorities seized the “Grace No. 1” with the assistance of the British Navy, accusing it of violating EU sanctions and transporting crude oil to Syria. However, the Gibraltar authorities said on August 15 that Iran had issued a formal written guarantee that it would not unload the crude oil contained in Grace No. 1 in any EU-sanctioned country and decided to release the tanker. Iran denies assurances to Gibraltar. However, even if it has been released, the fate of the tanker remains uncertain. According to a report by the Russian Satellite News Agency on the 16th, a spokesman for the US State Department issued a statement saying that the crew of the tanker will face consequences, including denying them entry into the United States.