Reports are coming in that the controversial Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya 1(formerly called Grace 1) has now changed its destination in its Automatic Identification System from Kalamata, Greece to Mersin, Turkey.
However, political analysts believe this might not be accurate and that Iran might be buying time to wade off the US that has been warning nations against accepting the supertanker, and allowing it docking rights.
The tanker’s estimated time of arrival now to Turkey is noon on Aug. 31. It was impounded off Gibaltrar in July and released on August 18 as local authorities decided to go against U.S. bid to detain the ship.
The United States has now issued a warrant against the supertanker, on the pretext that it has links to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, a group that has been designated by America as a terrorist organization. However, most other nations don’t see it this way and may not toe the line with the United States after all.
Initially, it was disclosed that the Adrian Darya 1 was supposed to dock itself at Greece, but then, Deputy Foreign Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis had clearly stated that Greece has not planned of angering the United States. Apparently, Athens is under pressure from US authorities to not adhere to any requests from the Iranian Supertanker to get safe access to their docks.
The 330-meter tanker needs to offload the huge pile of $130 million worth of light crude. It was seized initially on grounds that it was suspected of delivering this oil to Syria, violating the European Union International trade laws.
In recent times, Turkey has been playing its own game and currently showing great support for Iran. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is more interested to win favor on his side so that he was someone backing him for re-election to the Turkish democracy. Iran and Turkey have gradually become strong trade partners and plan to increase their annual trade to 30 billion dollars in defiance of the US pressure aimed at isolating Iran’s economy.
In the three-month period beginning in late March 2019, Turkey imported around $2.2 billion worth of goods and services from Iran, a five-fold jump compared to the similar quarterly period in 2018, according to data released by Tehran chamber of commerce to the media. Receiving the first controversial supertanker could just be Turkey’s way of sending off a strong signal that it will not be siding with Washington after all.