Iranian Oil Tanker Leaves Gibraltar, US Still Wants to Seize It

Iran Navy Commander says ready to offer escort to tanker

Iran’s oil tanker the Grace 1 was seized on July 4 by British Marines, and taken to Gibraltar for detention. Gibraltar announced it was free to leave as of Thursday, rejecting a US attempt to have it given to them instead, but it was only on Sunday that the ship finally left Gibraltar.

The tanker, which is now the Adrian Darya 1, slowly sailed off from Gibraltar, stopping and restarting a few times on the way. Officials indicated that the tanker would deliver the oil somewhere in the Mediterranean that was also definitely not Syria.

Though the Gibraltar courts rejected the US bid to seize it, a US District Court judge has issued a warrant allowing federal marshals to try to take over the ship, and the oil, as an asset forfeiture.

Iran’s Navy has said they are prepared to send a military escort, if necessary, to prevent the tanker being seized by the US. It’s not clear if that has happened at this point, or indeed that the US Marshal service has any means to practically try to capture the tanker on its own just because courts said they could try.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.