Iran claims United Kingdom ‘interested’ in releasing seized oil tanker soon

  • Iran claims United Kingdom ‘interested’ in releasing seized oil tanker soon

Iran claims United Kingdom ‘interested’ in releasing seized oil tanker soon

The British territory of Gibraltar will not yet release an Iranian oil tanker seized by Royal Marines in the Mediterranean despite an Iranian report that it could do so on Tuesday, an official Gibraltar source said.

Iranian oil tanker Grace-1 was detained on July 4 in Gibraltar on the charges of violating European Union sanctions against Syria.

Iran said on Tuesday that Britain might free its oil tanker Grace 1 soon, after some documents were exchanged that would help the seized ship's release.

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

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

Meanwhile, the country's semi-official Fars news agency quoted unidentified Gibraltar authorities saying Grace 1 will be freed by Tuesday evening.

Britain said later on Tuesday that investigations into the Iranian oil tanker Grace 1 were a matter for Gibraltar.

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. A senior Gibraltarian government source said that was not correct, though earlier the territory had said it was seeking the de-escalate the situation.

The tankers' affair has added to worsening hostilities since Washington pulled out of an global agreement curbing Iran's nuclear programme and reimposed economic sanctions.

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.

Millions of barrels of oil pass daily through the various bottlenecks from Middle East oil producers to markets across the globe.