The supertanker formerly known as Grace 1 is steaming eastward in the Mediterranean Sea after six weeks in Gibraltar detention, reportedly still carrying more than 2 million barrels of potentially embargo-busting Iranian crude oil.
Iran insists the oil isn’t and never was destined for Syria, which is under U.S. and EU embargo.
But U.S. and European authorities appear wary, and U.S. officials who lost a bid to keep the Grace 1 in detention over alleged ties to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) are warning ports against assisting the tanker, now renamed Adrian Darya 1.
So a high-stakes shell game involving what’s known as a very large crude carrier (VLCC) has moved to the 2.5 million-square-kilometer Mediterranean Sea.
The Adrian Darya 1’s movements are being closely tracked.
But experts have warned in the past of Iranian efforts to hide shipping activities to evade notice, including stepping up those tactics ahead of the reimposition last year of unilateral U.S. sanctions.
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