The United States confronted a legal watchdog battle to re-capture an Iranian supertanker caught in diplomatic opposition before the ship's agent told him that the planned departure of the ship from Gibraltar on Sunday or Monday would continue.
The head of the company, which sorts the documents and delivers the Grazia 1 oil tanker to the British overseas territory, said the ship could sail in the next 24 to 48 hours after the new crews dispatched to the area take command on the ship.
"The ship is undergoing some logistical changes and requirements that delay departure," Astralship Manager Richard De La Rosa told the Associated Press.
He said the new crews had hired Indian and Ukrainian nationals from Indian ship managers and that his company had not been informed of the next destination of the supertanker.
COPY OF THE IRANIAN SUPERTANKER THAT SHOULD REMOVE Gibraltar & # 39; D DON'T WANT TO REMAIN IN THE TEAM, "ADVOCATED009 THAT'S 9, 7 crude oil was detained in Gibraltar for more than a month for allegedly attempting to violate European Union sanctions on Syria.The arrest has fueled tensions between London and Tehran, which seized a British-flagged tanker in the Hormuz Strait in apparent revenge.
Analysts have said that the release of Grace 1
But late Friday, a day after the tanker was released from detention, the US received an order to confiscate the ship for violations of US sanctions, money laundering and terrorism. take control of the oil tanker, all oil rigs and $ 995,000 showed unsealed court documents.
The latest turn of events comes as tensions continue to escalate in the Gulf since President Donald Trump last year unilaterally pulled the US out of the 2015 nuclear deal signed by Iran and other global powers. In recent weeks, oil tankers in the region have been the target of attacks and seizures that have plagued London and Tehran, among others, in fierce diplomatic strife.
The Supreme Court of Gibraltar did not immediately respond to requests for comment on whether a United States petition was filed there. The British Foreign Office postponed questions to the government of Gibraltar, but calls and emails to its services about how authorities planned to respond to Washington's move remained unanswered.
Messages left by the US Embassy in London were not returned immediately. Gibraltar's Fabian Picardo warned the US that a new legal case should be considered by the courts after the tanker was detained this week. Picardo said he was assured in writing by the Iranian government that the tanker would not land its cargo in Syria.
Richard Wilkinson, a lawyer representing three crew members of the Grace 1 oil tanker, including his captain in India, stated that "he was not aware of any reason why the ship would not sail on Sunday, as [planned"
" As far as Europe is concerned, there is no criticism or complaint that this ship is carrying oil from Iran, the only problem from a European point of view is the destination of the ship and that has been sorted, "Wilkinson said.
He also said that he doubted the US had jurisdiction to do so imposing his own sanctions in Gibraltar, where he saw "little political will" to re-capture the tanker.
The time window for a new seizure was also quickly closed as workers were seen by AP crew hung on a ladder to repaint the ship bow under the name "Adrian Darya 1" above the place where "Grace 1" was already blackened.
It is reported that the ship is no longer flying the Panama flag, but no new signs can be seen on Saturday.
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The ship's agent, De la Rosa, stated that "if the Americans come up with a request or a specific order, this will have to be considered by the judges , but I don't think it materializes. "