Iran Says It Sold Oil, Tanker Pursued by U.S. to Unnamed Buyer

The tanker, which was released in mid-August from Gibraltar, is carrying 2.1 million barrels of crude oil and its current destination is unknown

Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya 1, previously named Grace 1, sits anchored after the Supreme Court of the British territory lifted its detention order, in the Strait of Gibraltar, Spain, August 18, 2019.
\ JON NAZCA/ REUTERS

An Iranian government spokesman says an oil tanker pursued by the U.S. has been sold to an unnamed buyer, along with its 2.1 million barrels of crude oil.

Ali Rabiei made the announcement at news conference on Monday in Tehran. He says the ship's buyer will decide on the tanker's ultimate destination.

The Iranian tanker is at the center of a confrontation between Washington and Tehran. Over the weekend, the vessel switched to a Turkish destination, but it is no longer heading there, Refinitiv Eikon shipping data showed on Monday.

The vessel, fully laden with oil, had previously been heading to the port of Kalamata in southern Greece but Greece had said it would not offer any facilities to the tanker.

Shipping data on Saturday had then indicated the vessel was to dock at the southern Turkish port of Mersin on August 31.

On Monday, Refinitiv Eikon data did not specify any destination for the Adrian Darya. Its location is currently south of mainland Greece, west of the island of Crete.

The Adrian Darya, formerly called Grace 1, was released in mid-August from detention off Gibraltar after a five-week standoff over whether it was carrying Iranian oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions.

The United States, which says the tanker is controlled by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, deemed a terrorist group by Washington, has told countries in the region not to assist it.