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

Iran says Britain might release seized Grace 1 oil tanker soon

Iran says Britain might release seized Grace 1 oil tanker soon

A spokesperson said: "The investigations being conducted around the Grace 1 are a matter for the Government of Gibraltar".

Breaking the news, Jalil Eslami, the deputy to the organization's chief, did not elaborate on the nature of the documents or any other details.

"We in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps are in charge of providing security for the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf, and there is no need for strangers", Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri said, according to the semi-official Iranian Students' News Agency.

The Iranian oil tanker was seized in Gibraltar on July 4 on suspicion of violating European Union sanctions by taking oil to Syria, which Iran denies.

A senior Gibraltarian government source said that report was not correct.

According to Iran's state news agency IRNA, Eslami said that the USA and the United Kingdom "have launched propaganda against Iran", referring to "Iran's seizing the United Kingdom oil tanker because of violating International Law of the Sea and US forming a coalition to escort ships in the Persian Gulf".

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"We believe that (the) Grace 1 oil tanker will resume operation under (the) Iranian flag in global waters in the very near future", Eslami said, according to Iran's Fars news agency.

Tensions have Iran and the West have been rising since the Trump administration reimposed sanctions on Iran following its abandonment of the nuclear deal.

Iran's Fars news agency reported earlier in the day, citing sources, that Gibraltar planned to release Grace 1, seized on July 4, on Tuesday evening. "We hope that the problem will be resolved in the near future and that the ship can continue sailing with the flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran".

Two weeks later, the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps seized the UK-flagged Stena Impero oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz due to an alleged violation of worldwide maritime regulations.

Unlike the seized Iranian tanker, which was carrying a cargo of up to 2.1 million barrels of oil, the Stena Impero was on its way to the Gulf and empty at the time it was seized by Iranian forces. Britain considers that action to have been retaliation.

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