The U.S. has warned Greece against hosting the Iranian tanker released by Gibraltar days earlier, saying those who facilitate the vessel, which is carrying oil deemed illicit, would face immigration and potential criminal consequences.
“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,” the State Department said.
Iran has yet to comment and the Greek foreign ministry didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
The Iranian tanker Adrian Darya 1, previously called the Grace 1, was moving eastward toward Kalamata, Greece, and is expected to arrive there on Monday, according to shipping tracker MarineTraffic.
The tanker left Gibraltar’s waters late Sunday after the territory’s Justice Ministry rejected a warrant from the U.S. Justice Department seeking its seizure for alleged violations of American sanctions. Gibraltar officials said the territory follows the European Union’s laws, not the U.S.’s.
The departure had been delayed by the U.S. warrant and difficulty finding a crew, after Gibraltar released the ship last week upon receiving assurances from Tehran that the 2.1 million barrels of crude oil the vessel was carrying wouldn’t go to Syria. Unlike the U.S., the EU doesn’t prohibit Iranian oil sales in general.
The U.S. has said the Adrian Darya was assisting the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which it has designated a terrorist organization, by transporting oil from Iran to Syria.
“It is important for companies, and mariners to know that any efforts to assist these tankers could be considered as providing material support to a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), which has immigration and potential criminal consequences,” a State Department representative added. Possible action includes severe terms prison and fines, and revoking visas held by crew members.
A local shipping-services provider, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter, said Monday the vessel planned to get fresh supplies and a new crew in Kalamata.