Captain of Grace 1 resigns from keeping command

Iranian oil tanker Grace 1 sits anchored awaiting a court ruling on whether it can be freed after it was seized in July by British Royal Marines off the coast of the UK exclave of Gibraltar

Iranian oil tanker Grace 1 sits anchored awaiting a court ruling on whether it can be freed after it was seized in July by British Royal Marines off the coast of the UK exclave of Gibraltar

The U.S. obtained a warrant Friday to seize the vessel over violations of U.S. sanctions, money laundering and terrorism statutes.

"Although the US expects its European allies to abide by these sanctions, it is up to the Gibraltar authorities to assess the allegations presented by the US", Khatib said.

Earlier in July, two weeks after Iran's Grace 1 oil tanker was impounded, Tehran seized the British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero in apparent retaliation for the detention of the Iranian ship.

"The US, with its forlorn last-ditch attempts, tried to prevent the release of the oil tanker but faced a humiliating defeat", Baeidinejad said on his Twitter account on Thursday night.

A lawyer for the Grace 1's current captain, an Indian national, said that his client had asked to be replaced.

On Friday, smoke appeared to be coming from the funnel but the anchor was still secured in the water.

"It's there for the whole world to see", Picardo told The Associated Press hours after the hearing.

Tehran had repeatedly called for the release of Grace 1, insisting it had been in worldwide waters and not headed to Syria. It was closely followed by a Royal Navy boat.

It calls for the Grace 1, all the petroleum on board and just under a million dollars held in an unnamed US Bank relating to a Iranian Company called Paradise Global Trading LLC, to be seized.

At the time, the US Department of Justice had not filed the appropriate action to block the vessel's release, Gibraltar's Supreme Court said on Thursday.

Yesterday, Iranian officials said the tanker was preparing to set sail under an Iranian flag and would be renamed the Adrian Darya for the voyage.

Prior to announcement of the warrant, the United States said the crew of the supertanker could be subject to a USA visa ban. The Pentagon declined to comment.

He added: "'It could go back to the court absolutely".

As the tanker sailed around Africa toward the Mediterranean, a "confidential source" revealed that the Grace 1 was destined for the Syrian port of Baniyas and scheduled to arrive in early July, it says.

The British tanker, Stena Impero, which Iran seized in the Strait of Hormuz.

At the height of the crisis, President Donald Trump called off air strikes against Iran at the last minute in June after its forces shot down a United States drone.

Gibraltar removed a detention order Thursday, allowing the Grace 1 to leave, after the British territory's chief minister said Tehran pledged the 2.1 million barrels of oil it's carrying would not go to Syria.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi on Friday said the country had made no commitments to gain the release of its tanker, while the chief minister of Gibraltar insisted on the written assurances it had received.

"A message to all mariners - if you crew an IRGC or other FTO-affiliated ship, you jeopardize future entry to the U.S.", Secretary Mike Pompeo said in a tweet on August 16.

The court's decision on Thursday to release the Grace 1 was a missed opportunity, and Washington hopes that London and authorities in Gibraltar would reconsider, USA officials said, asking not to be identified discussing private deliberations.