Middle EastNews

Britain Might Release Oil Tanker Soon, says Iran

the United Kingdm might free its seized oil tanker after some documents were exchanged that would help secure its release, according to Iran’s port authority.

ritish Royal Marines last month stopped and seized the vessel off the shore of Gibraltar on suspicion it carried Iranian crude oil to Syria in breach of European Union sanctions against the government of Syria,  a charge Tehran denies.

The deputy head of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organisation, Jalil Eslami, said “Britain is interested in releasing Iran’s oil tanker Grace 1 … following the exchange of some documents, we hope the release will take place soon,”

Britain said on Tuesday that investigations into the tanker Grace were a matter for Gibraltar. The territory has denied Iran’s claim that the action was taken on the orders of Tehran’s longtime foe Washington.

“As this is an ongoing investigation, we are unable to comment further,” a British Foreign Office spokesman said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Gibraltar said it was seeking to de-escalate issues arising with Iran since the detention of Grace 1.

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

The Gulf tanker crisis has added to worsening hostilities since Washington pulled out of Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six powers, under which Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear work in return for lifting most international sanctions on Tehran.

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