If Euro-weenies had their way, Iran would be freely delivering its oil around the world while it conducts its terrorism…
Port in Turkey, Israel bombing Iraq, U.S. embedding along the land bridge: Shadow battle with Iran continues
On corralling radical Iran in the ongoing shadow war, a couple of quick updates for Friday night. (The date will read Saturday – 24 August – by the time this posts.)
When we last checked in on the drama of (now former) oil tanker Grace 1, the ship taken down by UK commandos on 4 July, which had been sitting in Gibraltar in the weeks since, Grace 1 was reflagged to Iran, renamed Adrian Darya 1, under new ownership, and cleared by the Gibraltar high court to leave. The U.S. issued a warrant for detention of the ship, but Gibraltar declined to honor it. Adrian Darya 1 set out with a declared destination of Kalamata, Greece, carrying the original, still undelivered cargo of crude oil from Iran.
The intention for the tanker was reportedly to refuel in Kalamata. But observers pointed out that the ship’s real purpose was probably to attempt ship-to-ship oil transfers in the Messenian Gulf offshore from Kalamata. Greece announced Thursday that Adrian Darya 1 would not be accommodated if she attempted to come to Kalamata – presumably an indication that there had been U.S. pressure.
Adrian Darya 1 has been heading east in the Mediterranean, and was in the Strait of Sicily in the past couple of hours as I type. The ship has just changed the destination indicated by her AIS reporting system, however. It now reflects her destination as Mersin, Turkey.
Mersin is on Turkey’s southern coast, and is the major port closest to the border with Syria. The convenient aspect of Mersin (other than its excellence as a liberty port) is that a tanker coming from Syria need not enter international waters to get from Syria’s territorial waters to Turkey’s.