Iran’s oil tanker Grace 1, released on Thursday from Gibraltar after being held there for over a month, will head to the Mediterranean Sea under a new name, Adrian Darya, the deputy head of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization, Jalil Eslami, said on Friday.
“At the request of its owner, Grace 1 tanker will head to the Mediterranean Sea under the flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran having changed its name for Adrian Darya,” Eslami said as broadcast by Iranian television.
He specified that the vessel would begin is journey after being refueled.
Gibraltar’s authorities, supported by UK marines, detained the tanker off Gibraltar’s coast on July 4 on suspicions of transporting oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions. However, Madrid claimed that the vessel was seized at the request of the United States, which has long been seeking to drive Iranian oil exports to zero.
The vessel was released on Thursday after Gibraltar received assurances from Iran that the tanker was not going to deliver its cargo to Syria.
The United States applied to seize Grace 1 mere hours before Gibraltar was poised to set it free, with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif slamming the move as a piracy attempt.