Detained Iranian tanker sets sail from Gibraltar- Don’t Seize Ship Tehran warns US
An Iranian ship held by Gibraltar since July on suspicion of transporting oil to Syria has left port.
Marine tracking shows the tanker moving east into the Mediterranean and lists Kalamata in Greece as the destination.
Authorities in Gibraltar released the tanker last week, but on Friday a federal court in Washington issued a warrant for its seizure, its cargo of 2.1 million barrels of light crude oil, and nearly $1m (£824,000).
Gibraltar said it could not comply with Washington’s request to issue a new detention order because US sanctions against Iran did not apply in the EU.
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The release comes amid a growing row between Iran and the West after Donald Trump pulled Washington out of Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers over a year ago.
A spokesman for the Iranian foreign ministry said on Monday they were waiting for a court order before any possible release of the ship but said there was “no connection whatsoever” between the two ship seizures.
Switzerland represents US interests in Iran, which has no diplomatic relations with the US.
After the US unsealed a warrant on Friday to seize the vessel and its cargo,
US officials told reporters the oil abroad the ship was worth some $130m (£107m)
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It is unclear why the ship is en route to Kalamata in Greece. Bloomberg spoke to two vessel brokers who suggested the waters off the small port could be a possible place for ship-to-ship cargo transfers.