By SETH J. FRANTZMAN
Around 8 in the morning on Saturday the Adrian Darya 1 was off the coast of Tasucu Turkey in the waters between Turkey and Esentepe in Northern Cyprus. The day before, August 30 reports emerged that its destination was now Syria, after a week of mysteries about where it was headed.
The Darya, formerly Grace 1, had been seized near Gibraltar on July 4, 2019, by Royal Marines. It was released on August 17 and was expected to make its way to Syria despite US attempts to stop it.
Grace 1 loads crude oil: “the vessel loaded 2.1 million barrels of crude oil at Iran’s Kharg Island oil terminal in mid-April.” (See full US Justice Department complaint)
Grace 1 passes Cape Town
Nearing Gibraltar, the tankers destination is Syria: “Gibraltar said Grace 1 was destined for the Baniyas refinery, which is owned by the Syrian government and is subject to both U.S. and EU sanctions.”
Royal Marines seize Grace 1
Iran slams UK “piracy”
Iranian fast boats try to capture British Heritage tanker, HMS Montrose engages them
Iran siezes Stena Impero British-flagged tanker
Iran says Gibraltar may release Iranian tanker
Gibraltar court orders tanker released
US Justice Department files complaint for “forfeiture in a civil action” or Grace 1 and all the oil aboard it.
US issues arrest warrant for tanker saying it had sought “unlawfully access the US financial system to support illicit shipments to Syria from Iran by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.”
Adrian Darya 1 departs: “On Aug. 18, the tanker changed its name from the Grace I to the Adrian Darya-I and changed its flag from that of Panama’s to Iran’s. It set a course eastwards away from Gibraltar, claiming its destination was Kalamata, Greece, a place where the type of oil it’s used to off-loading comes from olives, not crude.” – Pete Evans, CBC
Tanker departs. Headed east
Heading east toward Sicily.
WSJ: “The Adrian Darya 1’s plan to unload its oil cargo and collect fresh supplies in Greece is hitting a snag as the U.S. pressures Athens to avoid any dealings with the Iranian vessel.”
Darya allegedly searching for port destination as US pressures Greece
Darya still says it is heading to Greece
“Then on Aug. 23, it updated its destination to the port of Mersin, a Turkish port that’s less than 200 kilometres from the Syrian border. Mersin’s proximity to a refinery in Baniyas, Syria, made international tensions ratchet up that much more.”
Darya still says it is heading to Greece
Darya is fifty miles off Spanish coast
Heading to Mersin, Turkey
Iran says it could escort tanker
Tanker passes Sicily with destination unclear
Iran says it sold the tanker’s oil
Iranian oil tanker ‘Adrian Darya 1 changes destination to For Order as it passes Greece
Tanker is off the coast of Crete heading to Mersin.
3:26 am off the coast of Crete heading east.
11:47 Darya heading east off of Adrasan, Turkey.
It is now the most watched ship in the world
August 29 off the coast of Turkey
The Darya is off of the coast of Turkey between it and Northern Cyprus, off of Alanya, Turkey. Heading east.
The Darya makes a 180 degree turn and heads back to the west.
Darya crosses back over the area it had come from heading west still.
Darya changed its listed destination in its Automatic Identification System to Iskenderun, Turkey.
Darya is west of Cyprus.
“Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says he wanted to clarify that Iranian tanker Adrian Darya was headed towards Lebanese territorial waters, not a Lebanese port.”
It is west of Cyprus and has changed destination for Lebanon, previously was heading to Turkey.
August 30, 1:44pm
Lebanon indicates that it is not the destination of the tanker.
Minister of Energy and Water Nada Boustani tweeted this Friday: “The Ministry of Energy does not buy crude oil from any country and Lebanon does not have a crude oil refinery. Also, there has been no request for the entry of tanker Adrian Darya to Lebanon.”
August 30 10:00pm
Darya will offload oil to Syria.
August 31 1:30am (August 30th in Washington)
The US Treasury puts out a statement: “
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action today against Adrian Darya 1, an oil tanker transporting 2.1 million barrels of Iranian crude oil ultimately benefitting Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF). The Adrian Darya 1 is being identified as blocked property pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorism or acts of terrorism. As part of today’s action, the Adrian Darya 1’s captain, Akhilesh Kumar, is also designated pursuant to E.O. 13224.”
August 31, 8:00am
Darya traveling between Northern Cyprus and Turkey