Gibraltar denies it plans to release Iranian tanker

Senior official in Gibraltar says reports in Iran that seized tanker will be released are untrue.

Elad Benari,

British Royal Navy patrol vessel guards the oil supertanker Grace 1
British Royal Navy patrol vessel guards the oil supertanker Grace 1
Reuters

A senior official in Gibraltar on Tuesday denied reports that an Iranian tanker seized near the territory is poised to be released, The Associated Press reported.

The official said a report by Iran's semi-official Fars news agency that the Grace 1 tanker is leaving Tuesday night are "untrue."

The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government rules.

The UK and Gibraltar seized the Iran-flagged tanker Grace 1 in early July on the grounds that it was attempting to transport oil to Syria, a violation of EU sanctions.

Iran later seized the British-flagged Stena Impero in the Persian Gulf. However, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denied the move was an act of revenge for the capture of the Iranian tanker, claiming Iran had taken measures against the ship to implement international law.

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

The Gibraltar Supreme Court is scheduled to hold a hearing on the case on Thursday, according to AP.




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