rss icon Subscribe
desktop mobile

Gibraltar Acted in Good Faith Over Adrian Darya 1 Tanker Release

© Tony Hogwood / MarineTraffic.com

By Jonathan Saul

Gibraltar acted in good faith when it released the Adrian Darya 1 tanker and Iran broke assurances it had given not to sell the crude oil to Syria, the British territory's maritime minister said on Friday.

British commandos on July 4 seized the supertanker, formerly named the Grace 1, on suspicion that it was en route to Syria in breach of European Union sanctions.

Gibraltar released it on Aug. 15 after getting written Iranian assurances that it would not discharge its cargo of around 2 million barrels of oil in Syria.

"We released the vessel in good faith based on assurances given by a sovereign nation," said Gilbert Licudi, minister with responsibility for port and maritime affairs.

"The information we have is that despite the assurances that were given to the Gibraltar government that the vessel would not unload in Syria it appears that is what has actually happened," he told Reuters on a visit to London.

Iran's envoy to London said on Wednesday - after being summoned by Britain's foreign minister Dominic Raab - that the Adrian Darya 1's cargo was sold at sea to a private company, denying Tehran had broken assurances it had given over the vessel, adding that the EU's Syria sanctions did not apply to Tehran.

Licudi said he did not know "for a fact" whether the ship had discharged the cargo at sea.

"It does not necessarily have to be in port, it can be ship-to-ship transfers in different amounts of cargoes and then it is delivered," he said.

The U.S. State Department said on Thursday Washington had evidence that the tanker had transferred its oil to the Syrian government.

The tanker's last reported position off Syria's coast was on Sept. 2 before its public tracking transponder went dark, Refinitiv data showed.

Gibraltar refused a U.S. request to seize the tanker in August, saying it was unable to comply because it was bound by European Union law.

Licudi said Gibraltar had taken the decision to intercept the ship in July.

"There was certainly no pressure from the U.S. or from anybody else or even the UK. This was a decision that had to be taken because of our international responsibilities and our international obligations."

(By Jonathan Saul, Editing by Louise Heavens)

Sep 13, 2019

 

Ports

Sanmar Delivers New Svitzer Tug in Port of Sohar

(Photo: Sanmar)

Turkish tug building specialist Sanmar Shipyards followed up on recent deliveries of the two

Shipping Industry Goes Digital in Lockdown

(Photo: DP World)

The coronavirus lockdown has accelerated a digitalization drive in a global shipping and logistics

First Containership Arrives at Sweden's Newest Port

Unifeeder containership SCA Tunadal is the first to call at Stockholm Norvik Port (Photo: Stockholm Norvik Port)

Unifeeder containership SCA Tunadal on Wednesday claimed the maiden call at Sweden’s newest

Maritime Safety

Tanker Repulses Pirate Attack in Gulf of Aden

Stolt Apal - Image Credit: Ria Maat / MarineTraffic

Armed pirates attacked a British-flagged chemical tanker in the Gulf of Aden on Sunday but were

ABS Offers IHM Surveys Remotely

ABS has added Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) Survey as remote choices.ABS is delivering IHM remote survey to support clients ahead of the December 31, 2020

ClassNK AIP to NYK Line, MTI for Autonomous Ship Framework

NKY Line MH.png

ClassNK granted an Approval in Principle (AiP) to NYK Line and MTI for their joint project on the

Maritime Apps