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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned the U.S. would impose sanctions on anyone who gets involved in any way with the former Grace 1, now Adrian Darya 1 tanker that Gibraltar released last week.
“We have made clear that anyone who touches it, anyone who supports it, anyone who allows a ship to dock is at risk of receiving sanctions from the United States,” the Secretary of State told reporters as quoted by Reuters. “If that ship again heads to Syria we will take every action we can consistent with those sanctions to prevent that.”
This is not the first threat. Last week, when the news broke Gibraltar had decided to free the tanker, Bloomberg quoted two officials as saying the U.S. is “gravely disappointed” with the UK and its overseas territory Gibraltar for releasing the oil tanker, which was detained in early July on suspicion of carrying the oil to a Syrian entity which is under European Union sanctions.
The sources went on to add that after the release of the tanker, the U.S. would target with sanctions any entity, be it a country or a company, that tries to do business with the tanker for violating U.S. sanctions against Tehran.
Earlier this week, when it emerged the Adrian Darya 1 had set sail for Greece, a State Department official told Reuters that the U.S. administration had conveyed a “strong position” regarding any assistance to the now notorious Iranian tanker.
The strong position consisted of the U.S. treating any assistance to the tanker from any port in the Mediterranean as assistance to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Washington has designated the Iranian security forces a terrorist organization.
The Greek government responded to the threat by saying the Adrian Darya 1 had not requested permission to dock at any Greek port.
Meanwhile, Tehran has warned in its turn that any U.S. attempt to seize the vessel would have “heavy consequences”.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.