The oil tanker was seized by Gibraltar on 4 July on suspicion of carrying oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions and released on 15 August. Four days later, the Middle Eastern nation confirmed that the tanker had left Gibraltar’s waters.
Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya, formerly known as Grace 1, which has been recently released from Gibraltar, is now entering the Turkish territorial waters and heading toward the Turkish port of Mersin, a shipping source at Mersin port confirmed on Thursday.
According to the source, the tanker will be unloaded at the port after its arrival.
The tanker, initially bound for the Greek port of Kalamata, changed its destination in its Automatic Identification System (AIS) on Saturday, setting course for Mershin, Turkey instead, according to the ship-tracking website MarineTraffic.com.
The Adrian Darya, which previously went by name Grace 1, was detained in Gibraltar in July for allegedly transporting crude to Syria in breach of the EU sanctions. The vessel was released almost a month later.
After reports emerged that the tanker was heading towards Greece, a US State Department official warned the Greek government that any effort to assist the Adrian Darya during its trip to Syria could be viewed as providing material support to a terrorist organisation.
Relations between Washington and Tehran have deteriorated since the US unilaterally withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal and moved to reimpose sanctions targeting the Islamic republic.
The tensions worsened when several tankers were attacked in the Persian Gulf, which prompted Washington to beef up its military contingent in the region.