ISTANBUL (Reuters) - An Iranian oil tanker at the center of a dispute between Washington and Tehran is no longer heading towards Turkey’s Iskenderun port and now has no specified destination, Refinitiv ship tracking data showed on Saturday.
The U.S. Treasury Department on Friday blacklisted the tanker, Adrian Darya 1, which was detained by Britain off Gibraltar in July due to British suspicion it was carrying Iranian oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions.
Refinitiv tracking data registered the ship’s destination as “for order”, after previously listing it as Iskenderun. “For order” usually means a vessel is available for charter.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused the United States on Twitter of engaging in “piracy and threats” to stop Tehran selling oil to traditional clients.
Turkey said on Friday the tanker was headed to Lebanon’s waters, but the United States later said the ship was sailing to Syria.
Turkey’s Iskenderun port is 200 km (124 miles) north of Syria’s Baniyas refinery, the tanker’s suspected original destination.
When the ship was released off Gibraltar in mid-August after a five-week standoff, Iran told Britain the cargo was not headed to Syria.
The ship tracking data indicated the tanker heading in a westerly direction after previously moving eastwards towards the Turkish coast throughout the afternoon.
This is the third clear change of course since Thursday, according to ship tracking data.
Additional reporting by Michele Kambas in Athens; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Edmund Blair