Iran alert: Tehran defies Washington as Khamenei makes bombshell decision to spark crisis

Recently, Gibraltar sanctioned the release of the oil tanker, Grace 1 following its capture by Royal Marines last month. The tanker was reportedly heading towards Syria in defiance of EU sanctions but according to intelligence sources telling Fox News, a second tanker is now on course to Syria.

According to Fox, the Bonita Queen was loaded with 600,000 barrels of crude oil on August 2 near the Iranian island of Kharg Island.

The ship is apparently headed towards Dubai where it will refuel before heading on to Syria.

In a bid to escape a warrant from the US, Iranian shipping chiefs renamed the seized Grace 1 supertanker.

Crew members on the tanker allegedly wrote Adrian Darya on the ship although Tehran has not set a definite date on well the tanker will leave the Mediterranean.

Iran news: Iran launches second tanker

Iran news: Iran launches second tanker (Image: GETTY)

Iran news: The two countries have been at odds

Iran news: The two countries have been at odds (Image: GETTY)

Jalil Eslami, deputy head of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organisation, announced the decision to rename the tanker.

Mr Eslami said: “At the owner’s request, the Grace 1 will depart for the Mediterranean after being reflagged under the Islamic Republic of Iran’s flag and renamed as Adrian Darya for the voyage.

“The 25-member crew will start their journey after preparations, including refuelling.

“The ship was of Russian origin and Panama-flagged and is carrying 2 million barrels of Iranian oil.”

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Iran news: Tehran renamed grace 1

Iran news: Tehran renamed grace 1 (Image: GETTY)

With the tanker free to leave, US officials issued the warrant in order to seize the tanker and the oil it carries which amounts to almost $1 million.

Despite that warrant, Gibraltar warned that it could not comply with the request as it was under EU law.

The Gibraltan Government said: “The EU sanctions regime against Iran – which is applicable in Gibraltar – is much narrower than that applicable in the US.

“The Gibraltar Central Authority is unable to seek an Order of the Supreme Court of Gibraltar to provide the restraining assistance required by the United States of America.”


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Iran news: The Stena Impero is still seized

Iran news: The Stena Impero is still seized (Image: GETTY)

Iran news: Mr Rouhani has warned the US in the past

Iran news: Mr Rouhani has warned the US in the past (Image: GETTY)

Although the US has issued a warrant to stop the ship, US President Donald Trump had criticised the UK for it failed to deal with the situation.

Trump did, however, did add that Iran is apparently ready to talk to the US.

He added: “Iran would like to talk.

“We can do something very fast, but they don’t quite know how to begin.”

In retaliation to the seizure of Grace 1, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard captured the British-flagged Stena Impero.

Spheres of influence

Spheres of influence (Image: Express)

Following the capture of the oil tanker, the Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt labelled the move as completely “illegal”.

Mr Hunt also warned that the nature of the vessel “raises very serious questions” about the seizure vessel passing through the region.

He added: “Our priority continues to be to find a way to de-escalate the situation.”

Despite the release of Grace 1, the Stena Impero still remains held by Iranian officials.

Iran news: Mr Hunt issued a worrying statement on current relations

Iran news: Mr Hunt issued a worrying statement on current relations (Image: GETTY)

Speaking on the status of the ship, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said: “Regarding the release of the law-breaking British tanker Stena Impero, we have to wait for the court’s ruling.

“This tanker has committed two to three nautical violations that are being investigated.

“We hope that these investigations will finish as soon as possible and a verdict will be issued and if the verdict orders its release, it can continue to sail its path.”