Gibraltar says no immediate plan to release Iranian tanker

Cheryl Sanders
August 14, 2019

Iran's state-run news agency reported remarks by the deputy head of Iran's Ports and Maritime Organization on Tuesday.

The news about Grace-1 has given rise to hopes about the imminent release of British vessel Stena Impero which was detained by Iran's revolutionary guards about two weeks after the Iranian oil tanker was seized.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Jalil Eslami, Iran's Ports and Maritime Organization's deputy head, said Tehran has been making efforts towards securing the release of oil tanker Grace 1, which was seized with a cargo of 2.1 million barrels of oil by United Kingdom marines in the Strait of Gibraltar in July, reports Press TV.

Referring to the US' anti-Iran maritime initiative in the Persian Gulf, Eslami said that in Iran's view the coalition is a self-defeating once since no country except the Zionist regime has joined it.

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

Earlier, a senior Gibraltarian government source denied Iran's semiofficial Fars news agency report that the tanker would be freed on August 13 in the evening.

Britain have said there would be serious consequences if Iran did not release the British vessel.

The Gibraltar government insisted it is seeking to "de-escalate" the situation over the Grace 1.

A view of the Grace 1 super tanker i near a Royal Marine patrol vessel in the British territory of Gibraltar, Thursday, July 4, 2019. Britain considers that action to have been illegal retaliation.

The developments come against the background of tension in the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world's key maritime chokepoints.

Islami also said in a speech today that the U.S. plan to escort oil tankers while crossing the Strait of Hormuz has failed.

Israel has been striking Iranian targets in Syria over the past few years in an effort to limit the Islamic Republic's presence in its immediate neighborhood, and according to recent reports, has expanded those operations to hit Iranian-backed militias in Iraq.

Other reports by iNewsToday