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Iranian tanker at centre of standoff with West leaves Gibraltar, shipping data shows

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Iranian tanker at centre of standoff with West leaves Gibraltar, shipping data shows

By Marco Trujillo and Jon Nazca

 

2019-08-18T111937Z_1_LYNXNPEF7H0DR_RTROPTP_4_MIDEAST-IRAN-TANKER-GIBRALTAR.JPG

The Iranian flag flies at Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya 1, before being named as Grace 1, as it sits anchored after the Supreme Court of the British territory lifted its detention order, in the Strait of Gibraltar, Spain, August 18, 2019. REUTERS/Jon Nazca

 

GIBRALTAR (Reuters) - The Iranian tanker caught in a stand-off between Tehran and the West left Gibraltar on Sunday night, shipping data showed, hours after the British territory rejected a U.S. request to detain the vessel further.

 

British Royal Marines seized the tanker in Gibraltar in July on suspicion that it was carrying oil to Syria, a close ally of Iran, in violation of European Union sanctions. That triggered a series of events that have heightened tensions on international oil shipping routes through the Gulf.

 

The Grace 1, renamed the Adrian Darya 1, left anchorage off Gibraltar at around 11 p.m. local time, Refinitiv shipping data showed. Its destination was not immediately clear.

 

Iran's ambassador to Britain, Hamid Baeidinejad, had written on Twitter earlier that the vessel was expected to leave on Sunday night, adding that two engineering teams had been flown to Gibraltar.

 

The tanker's detention ended last week, but on Friday a federal court in Washington issued a warrant for the seizure of the tanker, the oil it carries and nearly $1 million.

 

Gibraltar said on Sunday it could not comply with that request because it was bound by EU law.

 

"The EU sanctions regime against Iran – which is applicable in Gibraltar - is much narrower than that applicable in the U.S.," the government said in a statement.

 

"The Gibraltar Central Authority is unable to seek an Order of the Supreme Court of Gibraltar to provide the restraining assistance required by the United States of America."

 

Washington had attempted to detain the Grace 1 on the grounds that it had links to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which it has designated a terrorist organisation.

 

Iran has denied the tanker was ever headed to Syria.

 

IRANIAN FLAG

Tehran said it was ready to dispatch its naval fleet to escort the tanker if required.

 

"The era of hit and run is over ... if top authorities ask the navy, we are ready to escort out tanker Adrian," Iran's navy commander, Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, was quoted as saying by Mehr news agency.

 

Earlier on Sunday, video and photographs showed the tanker flying the red, green and white flag of Iran and bearing its new name, painted in white, on the hull. Its previous name, 'Grace 1', had been painted over.

 

The initial impounding of the Grace 1 sparked a diplomatic row that escalated when Tehran seize a British-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf two weeks later. That tanker, the Stena Impero, is still detained.

 

The two vessels have since become pawns in a bigger game, feeding into wider hostilities since the United States last year pulled out of an international agreement to curb Iran's nuclear programme, and reimposed economic sanctions.

 

Iran has denounced U.S. efforts to set up an international maritime security coalition in the Gulf and insisted regional countries could protect the strategic waterway and work towards signing a non-aggression pact.

 

On a trip to Kuwait on Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a tweet that "Iran's proposal for Regional Dialogue Forum and non-aggression pact trumps reliance on extraneous actors".

 

The Grace 1 had originally flown the Panamanian flag but Panama's Maritime Authority said in July that the vessel had been de-listed after an alert that indicated the ship had participated in or was linked to terrorism financing.

 

(Reporting by Marco Trujillo, Jon Nazca and Joan Faus; Additional reporting by Tuqa Khalid and Dubai newsroom, and Daniel Wallis in New York; Writing by William James in London; Editing by Gareth Jones and Lisa Shumaker)

 

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-08-19

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49 minutes ago, spidermike007 said:

This is a great outcome. Anytime the over reach of the US government can be shut down, it is a triumph for the world. Especially now, with hawkish wing nuts at the helm. 

 

Not that I'm expecting much balance from certain posters, but just to be clear - if, for example, this tanker and its cargo end up in Syria, thus aiding Assad's regime - would that too be considered "a great outcome"? A "triumph"?

:coffee1:

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4 minutes ago, spidermike007 said:

Please try to keep track of the facts, and timeline of actions with regard to the tanker. The Iranians had already agreed and made a promise to the Gibraltar authorities to make sure the oil does not get delivered to Syria, before the US made it's silly request that they impound the tanker themselves. This was a bald faced power grab. More than likely precipitated by a suggestion from Blindfold Bolton. You speak of balance. Yet, you consistently let your hawkish and conservative (conventional?) views get in the way of the facts. 

 

No, the Syrians getting the oil would not have been a great outcome. I despise Assad. But, Iran would not have defied this promise, with the world looking on. You can call them anything you want, but they are far from dumb. Now, if you want to talk about the current administration in Washington, that is a whole different story, and you must lower your expectations of IQ, by 50-80 points. 

I am not too sure about Iran abiding by some sort of "agreement" when senior government officials have denied that any agreement took place. The people who benefitted from the notion of an agreement are the Brits, for who this is a face saver....ie "we nobly took action against despised regime that was breaking EU law, and hey look we won we have their word that they won't sell to Syria, and now can we have our tanker back?"

 

It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that when the Brits saw the writing on the wall and the tanker to be released they cooked up the story for a supine press to print. 

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4 hours ago, legend49 said:

I thought this was between Iran, Spanish and UK governments, why are other countries running in half way around the world to get some media coverage?

Consider that there 'just may be' some things going on around the world' that you are not aware of......... The USA will try to do things and 'Have a good reason'.... sometimes it works, sometime It Don't...... It seems that this thing just woke up all the 'Anti-USA' members.......

Read more of the TM30 threads and relax...........

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1 hour ago, Morch said:

this tanker and its cargo end up in Syria

What if the tanker doesn't "end up in Syria" but the cargo does?

The tanker can off load oil in Lebanon or Turkey ports which ends Iran's transport service. Transshipment, ie., by truck, rail and/or pipeline, thereafter to Syria would then be beyond interception for inspection and seizure.

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5 hours ago, spidermike007 said:

Please try to keep track of the facts, and timeline of actions with regard to the tanker. The Iranians had already agreed and made a promise to the Gibraltar authorities to make sure the oil does not get delivered to Syria, before the US made it's silly request that they impound the tanker themselves. This was a bald faced power grab. More than likely precipitated by a suggestion from Blindfold Bolton. You speak of balance. Yet, you consistently let your hawkish and conservative (conventional?) views get in the way of the facts. 

 

No, the Syrians getting the oil would not have been a great outcome. I despise Assad. But, Iran would not have defied this promise, with the world looking on. You can call them anything you want, but they are far from dumb. Now, if you want to talk about the current administration in Washington, that is a whole different story, and you must lower your expectations of IQ, by 50-80 points. 

 

"The Iranians had already agreed and made a promise to the Gibraltar authorities to make sure the oil does not get delivered to Syria,"

 

Before advising other posters to "keep track of facts" etc. perhaps do so yourself:

 

Iran denies commitments in exchange for tanker release

http://Iran denies commitments in exchange for tanker release

 

And the same goes for the " consistently let your hawkish and conservative (conventional?) views get in the way of the facts" bit - you're welcome to visit most topics dealing with Trump (or Bolton), review my posts, and rethink this gem. While at it, remove the "likes" you occasionally leave on such posts. As said, balance isn't your thing.

 

Your assertion that Iran wouldn't defy a promise (which Iran denies it made) while the World is watching (is the World watching?) is out of sync with Iran's leadership's ways and history.

 

And the bottom line remains - you maid a bold, sweeping statement, and now waffle instead of coming to the crux - "No, the Syrians getting the oil would not have been a great outcome". Not too complicated, is it?

 

And again, these repeated IQ references don't reflect to well you. Seriously.

 

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4 hours ago, Srikcir said:

That was allegedly breaking the international ban and not proven by any shipping manifest records other than the word of the U.S. that the ship was taking oil to Syria.

UK's action in compliance with the court was a win for democracy and a defeat of Trump's anti-globalism.

 

As far as I'm aware, there was no mention of verified destination. That in itself is odd - and could be interpreted any which way. Wasn't aware tanker just cruised the seas, on an odd, long course away from home, without much by way of fixed destination.

 

Given that the tanker is already in the Mediterranean Sea, and already attracts attention, it would be interesting to see where it's headed.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Srikcir said:

What if the tanker doesn't "end up in Syria" but the cargo does?

The tanker can off load oil in Lebanon or Turkey ports which ends Iran's transport service. Transshipment, ie., by truck, rail and/or pipeline, thereafter to Syria would then be beyond interception for inspection and seizure.

 

In the context of my post (which you edited out) it wouldn't matter - still not a "great outcome" as @spidermike007 asserted.

 

I think what you describe is possible - if easier said than done. Lebanon could come under serious USA and EU pressure, and be put between a rock and a hard place. Erdogan's Turkey's current relation with Assad's regime are rocky. Wouldn't know there's great willingness to assist (plus doing more damage to relations with EU and USA).

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12 minutes ago, Morch said:

 

In the context of my post (which you edited out) it wouldn't matter - still not a "great outcome" as @spidermike007 asserted.

 

I think what you describe is possible - if easier said than done. Lebanon could come under serious USA and EU pressure, and be put between a rock and a hard place. Erdogan's Turkey's current relation with Assad's regime are rocky. Wouldn't know there's great willingness to assist (plus doing more damage to relations with EU and USA).


Do please get real. The oil in that tanker is heading to Syria, either directly or indirectly.
Washington is trying to strangle Syria with these sanctions, Washington does not want Iranian oil being sold to Syria. And the EU, they're making a token effort to be part of this Washington-lead attempt on stopping Iranian oil being transported to Syria.

If Washington does not want America to buy Iranian oil, that's fair enough. If the EU does not want to buy Iranian oil, that's also fair enough. But stopping Syria buying Iranian oil ? It's ridiculous.

Turkey, or whoever, is going to buy this Iranian oil. And then, they will sell it to Iran. And they can do nothing against Turkey. Turkey is, after all, in NATO, they're one of us. And anyway, Turkey knows, they might be on the hit list. That's a list of Muslim countries that Washington wants to destroy.

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