Iranian Supertanker Unloads on Mediterranean Coast: Spokesman
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said the Adrian Darya 1 oil tanker, which was recently released from Gibraltar despite Washington’s request to continue its detention, reached its destination and unloaded its cargo.
“The Adrian Darya oil tanker finally docked on the Mediterranean coast and unloaded its cargo despite acts of sabotage by the US,” Mousavi said in remarks released on Sunday night.
“We had already announced that we would sell our oil in any way and that acts of sabotage would not affect our plans,” he added.
The spokesman further emphasized that the US measures against the supertanker are contrary to international regulations, including the law of the sea and regulations of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
The US recently blacklisted the Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya 1, formerly known as Grace 1, and sanctioned its captain, according to the US Treasury Department.
A report by The Financial Times revealed Wednesday that four days before the US imposed sanctions on the tanker, the vessel’s Indian captain received an unusual email from US Special Representative on Iran Brian Hook.
According to several emails seen by the Financial Times, Hook wrote to Akhilesh Kumar on August 26 that the Trump administration was offering him several million dollars to pilot the ship to a country that would impound the vessel on behalf of the US. To make sure the captain did not mistake the email for a scam, it included an official state department phone number.
Hook has emailed or texted roughly a dozen captains in recent months in an effort to scare mariners into understanding that helping Iran evade sanctions comes at a heavy price, the report added.
Last month, the authorities in Gibraltar released the Iranian vessel Adrian Darya 1 after six weeks, defying a US request to continue the dentition of the ship.
On July 4, the British Royal Marines seized the giant Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar for trying to take oil to Syria allegedly in violation of EU sanctions.
Tehran maintained that the supertanker was not bound for Syria and its seizure has taken place at the behest of the US.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry had summoned the British envoy to Tehran several times in protest at the UK navy’s move.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had warned London that it will definitely pay the price for the illegal seizure of the tanker in international waters.