Gibraltar seeks to deescalate Gulf tensions since British seizure of Iranian Grace1 supertanker

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London, August 13: Gibraltar on Tuesday said it was long seeking to deescalate tensions with Tehran since the British seized the Iranian Grace1 supertanker off the coast of Gibraltar.

A spokesperson for Gibraltar said, “We continue to seek to de-escalate issues arising since the lawful detention of Grace 1.”

The pertaining detention order over the seized Iranian oil tanker is slated to expire on Saturday night, the spokesperson stated, according to Reuters news reports.

Iran on Tuesday said the United Kingdom should release its seized oil tanker Grace 1 as soon as possible, following the exchange of some documents that would assist in the release of the seized vessel, Reuters news reported.

Iranian ports and maritime organization deputy head Jalil Eslami, in his remarks quoted by IRNA news agency, said, “Britain is interested in releasing Iran’s oil tanker Grace 1 … following the exchange of some documents, we hope the release will take place soon.”

On July 4, British Royal Marines detained Iran’s oil tanker off the coast of Gibraltar on suspicion of breaching European Union (EU) sanctions by moving crude oil to Syria, which Tehran denies any wrongdoing.

“The vessel was seized based on false allegations … it has not been freed yet,” Eslami said.

At least two weeks after the UK seized Grace 1, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) captured a British-flagged oil tanker, named Stena Impero, near the Hormuz Strait, blaming if for violating marine. Britain considers the Iranian move to have been attempted as illegal retaliation.

 

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