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US blacklists roaming Iranian oil tanker in Mediterranean

The United States  on Friday threatened sanctions against “anyone providing support to the Adrian Darya 1,” the Iranian oil tanker that has amplified tensions between Tehran and the West.

Previously known as Grace 1, the ship has been bouncing around the Mediterranean after being held for six weeks by Gibraltar on suspicion that its cargo was bound for Syria.

The US Treasury Department declared that the vessel is now “blocked property” under an executive order that targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorism.

The order also levied sanctions against the ship’s captain, Akhilesh Kumar, a 43-year-old Indian national.

“Anyone providing support to the Adrian Darya 1 risks being  sanctioned,” warned Sigal Mandelker, US Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

After the vessel was impounded on July 4, Washington had pressured Gibraltar, a British territory on the southern tip of Spain, to keep the tanker and its cargo of 2.1 million barrels of oil, impounded.

But  the vessel was released on August 15,  after Tehran promised its cargo, worth around $140 million (€127 million), was not in violation of European Union sanctions on Syria.

Iran said Monday, i t had  sod the oil abroad the tanker but refused to identify the buyer for fear of subjecting them to US sanctions. It said the owner will decide where to send the ship

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