The US State Department has informed the Greek government of its ‘strong position’ regarding foreign states providing any assistance to Iranian oil tanker that was recently released by Gibraltar despite all Washington’s pressure.
Any attempts to assist the vessel, which was renamed from ‘Grace 1’ to ‘Adrian Darya 1’ and is now reportedly heading towards Greece, could be considered as “providing material support to a US-designated foreign terrorist organization,” a State Department official told Reuters.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, meanwhile, criticized Gibraltar’s ‘unfortunate’ decision to ignore US pressure. After it became clear last week there were no reasons to hold the vessel any longer, the US issued own warrant for its seizure, claiming the ship was involved in money laundering and financing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which the Washington had designated as a terrorist organization.
The British territory explained it was not bound by US laws, pointing out that EU sanctions against Iran are far less sweeping than Washington’s own “maximum pressure” sanctions regime and that the vessel is complying with EU laws.
The Royal Marines seized the Iranian supertanker last month as it passed Gibraltar, accusing the vessel of illegally attempting to transport oil to Syria. Tehran emphatically denied the claim, calling the seizure an act of “piracy” undertaken at Washington’s direction. The Iranian navy has warned it is “ready to escort our tanker” should the US attempt to retake the Adrian Darya.