Gibraltar police release all crew members of Iranian tanker: report

TEHRAN, Jul. 13 (MNA) – Gibraltar police have reportedly released all four crew members of the Iranian Grace 1 tanker on bail without charge after the supertanker was illegally seized by British marines last week.

Gibraltar police said earlier on Friday that they had arrested two officers with the Grace 1 supertanker, a day after they detained the ship’s captain and chief officer, Reuters reported.

In a statement, the police said all four crew members were granted bail with conditions. It did not elaborate but said the investigation was ongoing.

“All four men are Indian nationals and they have been granted full legal assistance,” the statement said.

Iran and Britain have been locked in a diplomatic dispute since July 4, when Gibraltar’s police, aided by a detachment of British Royal Marines, seized Grace 1 on alleged suspicion of carrying crude oil to Syria, which has been under EU sanctions since 2011.

Spain, which challenges the British ownership of Gibraltar, has, however, said the seizure was prompted by a US request to Britain and appeared to have taken place in Spanish waters.

Gibraltar has yet to announce the fate of the ship and its crew after the territory’s Supreme Court set a 14-day deadline last week for the country’s authorities to conduct “investigations” about the ship.

The Islamic Republic has condemned the seizure as “maritime piracy,” vowing to employ all its political and legal capacities to secure the release of the vessel and uphold its rights.

MNA/PR

News Code 147544

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