Greece 'monitoring closely' Iranian tanker, FM sources say

Release of Iranian tanker 'unfortunate': U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo

Release of Iranian tanker 'unfortunate': U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo

The United States will take every action it can to prevent an Iranian tanker sailing in the Mediterranean from delivering oil to Syria in contravention of US sanctions, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned on Tuesday. The detention led to a standoff between Iran and the United Kingdom, whose Royal Navy helped the Gibraltar authorities seize the Grace 1.

"If they are successful they will have more money, more wealth, more resources to continue their terror campaign, to continue their assassination campaign".

Pompeo said the USA doesn't want crude oil to go to Syria because it will be "off-loaded, sold, used by the Quds force, an organization that has killed countless Americans and people all across the world".

Iran exported about 100,000 bpd of crude in July, according to an industry source who tracks such flows and data from Refinitiv Eikon.

Its Supreme Court ordered the tanker released last Thursday, with Iranian officials saying a new crew had arrived to pilot the vessel - now renamed the Adrian Darya - and its 2.1 million barrels of oil.

The ship, which is now sailing under an Iranian flag, was released from detention off Gibraltar after a five-week standoff over whether it was carrying Iranian oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions.

This weekend, the Navy Commander of the IRGC, Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri, said the two tanker seizures should be viewed as separate issues, suggesting that just because Gibraltar released the Iranian vessel did not automatically mean Iran would release the British-flagged tanker.

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The United States has removed almost 2.7 million barrels of Iranian oil from global markets as a result of Washington's decision to reimpose sanctions on all purchases of Iran's crude, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday.

The Iranian vessel was detained for a month for allegedly attempting to violate European Union sanctions on Syria.

Deputy Transport Minister Mohammad Rastad said the case of Stena Impero had been submitted to a court in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas, the semi-official news agency Tasnim reported, without giving a date when it would be heard.

Greece's Foreign Ministry is "monitoring closely" developments concerning the Iranian tanker and "is in contact, through diplomatic channels, with the U.S.", according to diplomatic sources cited by state-run news agency ANA-MPA on Tuesday.

"We have conveyed our strong position to the Greek government on the matter, as well as all ports in the Mediterranean that should be forewarned about facilitating this vessel", it said.

It is standard practice for a vessel to give notice 48 hours before docking at a port, Greek officials said. After it became clear last week there were no reasons to hold the vessel any longer, the U.S. issued own warrant for its seizure, claiming the ship was involved in money laundering and financing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which the Washington had designated as a terrorist organization. Munitions it confiscated exploded in 2011, causing the island's worst peacetime disaster.

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