SUBMIT PICTURE: A team member takes pictures with a mobile phone on Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya 1, formerly named Grace 1, as it sits anchored after the Supreme Court of the British territory lifted its detention order, in the Strait of Gibraltar, Spain, August 18,2019 REUTERS/Jon Nazca/File Image
ISTANBUL (Reuters) – An Iranian oil tanker at the center of a dispute between Washington and Tehran is no longer heading towards Turkey’s Iskenderun port and now has no defined destination, Refinitiv ship tracking information revealed on Saturday.
The U.S. Treasury Department on Friday blacklisted the tanker, Adrian Darya 1, which was apprehended by Britain off Gibraltar in July due to British suspicion it was carrying Iranian oil to Syria in infraction of European Union sanctions.
Refinitiv tracking information registered the ship’s destination as “for order”, after previously listing it as Iskenderun. “For order” generally means a vessel is available for charter.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif implicated the United States on Twitter of engaging in “piracy and risks” to stop Tehran offering oil to traditional clients.
Turkey said on Friday the tanker was headed to Lebanon’s waters, however the United States later said the ship was sailing to Syria.
Turkey’s Iskenderun port is 200 km (124 miles) north of Syria’s Baniyas refinery, the tanker’s suspected original location.
When the ship was launched off Gibraltar in mid-August after a five-week standoff, Iran informed Britain the cargo was not headed to Syria.
The ship tracking data suggested the tanker heading in a westerly instructions after formerly moving eastwards towards the Turkish coast throughout the afternoon.
This is the third clear modification of course considering that Thursday, according to ship tracking information.
Additional reporting by Michele Kambas in Athens; Composing by Daren Butler; Modifying by Edmund Blair