Iran Oil Tanker Headed to Greece, Officials Downplay Risk of US Seizure

Aug. 19. 2019

Iran’s Grace 1 oil tanker, now renamed the Adrian Darya 1, left Gibraltar on Sunday after an agreement was reached to end its month and a half detention on the promise they wouldn’t deliver any oil to Syria. The EU doesn’t allow Syria to buy oil.

That part seems sorted, and reports now are that the tanker is en route to Greece, where it will sell its oil instead. The EU won’t object to selling oil to Greece, an EU member nation, and as part of the P5+1 nuclear deal allows EU companies to buy from Iran at their own discretion.

The US is still angry, of course. The US doesn’t allow Syria to buy oil, nor Iran to sell oil, and also has attempted to have the tanker and its oil seized under US civil forfeiture, something Gibraltar rejected. US courts have issued a warrant allowing the US Marshals to try to capture the tanker.

Iranian officials have downplayed the risk of the US actually trying to seize their ship in the Mediterranean, and Iran’s Navy has said they will provide a military escort to the extent they think it might be necessary.

Either way, the US State Department says they’ve contacted Greece and warned them that they have a “strong position” on not buying anything from Iran without US permission, and that the US never said Greece could buy that oil.

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