Gibraltar: Iran says: in touch with Britain over seized tanker

Iran says Britain might release seized Grace 1 oil tanker soon

Britain said the tanker was seized on suspicion that it violated the European Union's ban against selling oil to Syria.

A UK Foreign Office spokesman said on Tuesday that investigations into the tanker were a matter for the government of Gibraltar.

Iran's Ports and Maritime Organization said it has made efforts to secure the release of the tanker, which is loaded with 2.1 million barrels of oil, the group's deputy head Jalil Eslami said.

"The vessel was seized based on false allegations ...it has not been freed yet".

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.

An Iranian official on Tuesday said that the United Kingdom was likely to soon release an Iran-owned oil tanker that it unlawfully seized last month off the coast of Gibraltar, after the two sides exchanged certain documents.


On July 19, Iran's Revolutionary Guards impounded the British-flagged Stena Impero oil tanker in the strategic Strait of Hormuz for breaking "international maritime rules".

On August 6, Israeli regime's Foreign Minister Israel Katz said that they will be part of the US-led anti-Iran coalition.

Tehran rejected London's claim that the tanker was heading to Syria, slamming the seizure as "maritime piracy".

However, a senior Gibraltar official, speaking anonymously due to protocol, told the Associated Press that suggestions the tanker could depart on Tuesday night were "untrue".

Tensions have risen between Iran and the West after U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of a 2015 landmark nuclear agreement which curbed Tehran's atomic program in return for an easing of economic sanctions.

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