United Kingdom to Release Iranian Oil Tanker Soon

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 13, 2019

On Tuesday, Gibraltar said it was seeking to de-escalate issues arising with Iran since the detention of Grace 1.

Iranian reports have claimed a tanker seized by British marines will be released this evening - six weeks after it was detained off of Gibraltar.

The commandeering of the Grace 1 on July 4 exacerbated frictions between Tehran and the West and led to retaliatory moves in Gulf waterways used to ship oil.

An official of the Iranian Ports and Shipping Organization says Iran and the United Kingdom have exchanged documents in a bid to release an Iranian oil tanker detained in Gibraltar.

Tehran maintains that the supertanker was not bound for Syria and its seizure has taken place at the behest of the US.

But Iran's semi-official Fars news agency quoted unidentified Gibraltar authorities as saying that it will be freed tonight.

A source for the government of Gibraltar denied those reports while Britain said investigations into the tanker were a matter for its Mediterranean territory.

Tanker Trackers, a company that monitors ship movements, said Grace-1 was sending signals on Monday that indicate it will leave Gibraltar toward a destination in Morocco, although the vessel is still in Gibraltar.

Two weeks after the capture of the Iranian tanker, Iran's Revolutionary Guards seized a British tanker, Stena Impero, near the Strait of Hormuz, accusing it of marine violations.

The Gulf tanker crisis has added to worsening hostilities since Washington pulled out of Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with six powers, under which Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear work in return for lifting most global sanctions on Tehran. The British Foreign Office are yet to respond to Eslami's comments concerning a potential release of Iran's oil tanker. Iran claimed that the vessel, the Stena Impero, had been "violating global maritime rules".

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