Wednesday, 13 November, 2019

Iranian reports claim tanker seized by British marines will be released TODAY

The current detention order on the vessel expires on Saturday night after which a court is to decide on its fate The current detention order on the vessel expires on Saturday night after which a court is to decide on its fate
Patty Aguilar | 13 August, 2019, 23:37

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.

On July 4, the British Royal Marines seized the giant Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar for trying to take oil to Syria allegedly in violation of European Union sanctions.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, the deputy director of the Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran for maritime affairs, Jaleel Eslami, said the United Kingdom is going to let Iran's supertanker go.

"The vessel was seized based on false allegations.it has not been freed yet", Mr Eslami said.

The current detention order on the vessel expires on Saturday night, after which a court is to decide on its fate.

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

But Iran's semi-official Fars news agency quoted unidentified Gibraltar authorities as saying that it will be freed tonight.

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Tanker Trackers, a company that monitors ship movements, said Grace-1 was sending signals on Monday that indicate it will leave Gibraltar toward a destination in Morocco, although the vessel is still in Gibraltar.

Gibraltar said on Tuesday it was seeking to de-escalate issues arising with Iran since the detention of the tanker.

Tehran responded to the move in tit-for-tat fashion, detaining a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz two weeks later.

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.

On Tuesday the Gibraltar Government declined to be drawn on the reports from Iran about the vessel's release.

The Iranian capture of the Stena Impero drew condemnation from Britain and other European parties to the nuclear deal that have been trying to salvage it by shielding Iran's economy from reimposed and toughened US sanctions.

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