Gibraltar released the Iranian tanker after claiming to receive a written assurance from her captain that the vessel was not bound for Syria as the UK Royal Marines who seized it last month had alleged, though Iran has denied providing such an assurance.
The United States unsealed a seizure warrant and forfeiture complaint Friday against the Iranian oil tanker Grace 1 for allegedly trying to "unlawfully access the US financial system to support illicit shipments to Syria from Iran".
On Thursday, the U.S. State Department said it would block visas or admission into the United States for all the crew members of the Grace 1 because they are assisting Iran's Revolutionary Guard.
The U.S. tried to stop the release but Gibraltar officials say Iranian authorities promised not to deliver the fuel to a sanctioned refinery in Syria.
"The tanker's destination was not Syria. and even if it was, it did not concern anyone else".
Following the Grace 1's release, Britain renewed its demand that Iran release the British-flagged tanker it seized in the Strait of Hormuz on July 19.
In a Thursday interview with VOA Persian, Brookings Institution foreign policy research director Michael O'Hanlon said he did not see Gibraltar's decision on the tanker as a significant failure for US policy.
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Authorities in Gibraltar - with the backing of the British - had said the vessel was heading for Syria in breach of European Union sanctions barring the sale of oil to the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
Gibraltar's Chief Minister Fabian Picardo did not reveal when the tanker is expected to leave the area, saying it was up to the ship's agents and owners.
The Justice Department alleged the ship was part of a scheme "to unlawfully access the United States financial system to support illicit shipments to Syria from Iran by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps", which the USA has designated a foreign terrorist organization.
The court papers allege the Grace 1 is owned and managed by separate companies that appear to be operating on behalf of other parties.
Tensions between Iran and the USA have escalated since President Donald Trump past year unilaterally pulled the US out of the 2015 nuclear deal signed by Iran and other world powers.
"The US, with its forlorn last-ditch attempts, tried to prevent the release of the oil tanker but faced a humiliating defeat", Baeidinejad said on his Twitter account on Thursday night.