Iranian oil tanker, Adrian Darya 1, enters intl. waters from Gibraltar: PMO dep.

TEHRAN, Aug. 19 (MNA) – Deputy Head of Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) announced that after having its crew and name changed, Iranian oil taker Adrian Darya 1, formerly known as Grace 1, left Gibraltar region for international waters on Monday morning.

Despite all US pressures and requests, Gibraltar government eventually ordered the release of the tanker.

Iran's Ambassador to London Hamid Baeidinejad confirmed early Monday that the supertanker has started its journey in international waters 45 days after being seized in Gibraltar.

The announcement came just before the US Department of Justice unveiled a warrant for the seizure of the Iran-operated ship.

Baeidinejad wrote on Twitter on Monday that the act of having the Iranian oil tanker renamed is in no relation with skirting the US sanctions, since the tanker is not sanctioned and sails under the aegis of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).

Britain’s naval forces unlawfully seized the vessel, then known as Grace 1, and its cargo of 2.1 million barrels of oil in the Strait of Gibraltar on July 4 under the pretext that the supertanker had been suspected of carrying crude to Syria in violation of the European Union’s unilateral sanctions against the Arab country.

Tehran rejected London’s claim that the tanker was heading to Syria, slamming the seizure as “maritime piracy.”

HJ/ 4696632

News Code 149059

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