Iran says Britain might free oil tanker soon

13 Août, 2019, 19:22 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • The Grace 1 super tanker suspected of carrying Iranian crude oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions in the British territory of Gibraltar after it was detained

Gibraltar said on Tuesday it was seeking to de-escalate issues arising with Iran since the detention.

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

Britain could be softening their position to allow for the release of Tehran's oil tanker Grace 1 - seized by United Kingdom authorities in July - after the exchange of documents between the two countries, Iran media report.

"The vessel was seized based on false allegations.it has not been freed yet", Eslami said. "We hope the release will take place soon".

Following Iran's move to capture a British oil tanker that had violated the maritime law in the Strait of Hormuz, the United States and the UK tried to carry out a plan for restrictions on maritime traffic in the strait, but their ploy ended in failure after it was given the cold shoulder by other countries, Eslami added.

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"The investigations being conducted around the Grace 1 are a matter for the government of Gibraltar", a Foreign Office spokesman said.

Tehran responded to the move in tit-for-tat fashion, detaining a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz two weeks later.

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 worldwide sanctions on Tehran.

Unlike the seized Iranian tanker, which was carrying a cargo of up to 2.1 million barrels of oil, the Stena Impero was on its way to the Gulf and empty at the time it was seized by Iranian forces.

Britain, which repeatedly ruled out any exchange and has since been giving UK-flagged vessels in the region a naval escort, joined a US-led security mission in the narrow passageway on August 5 in order to secure maritime traffic.

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