Release of UK seized Iranian oil tanker ‘Grace 1’ postponed at US request

TEHRAN, Aug. 15 (MNA) – The release of UK seized Iranian oil tanker ‘Grace 1’ was postponed at the request of the United States.

The Iranian oil tanker Grace 1 was seized by UK marines near the Strait of Gibraltar on 4 July over alleged violation of EU sanctions, in what Tehran described as an act of piracy.

The US Department of Justice has applied to seize the Iranian oil tanker Grace 1, “just hours before the Gibraltar Government was poised to release it”, Sputnik news agency reported.

The decision has been postponed to 4 p.m. local time (14:00 GMT), the Gibraltar Chronicle newspaper specified.

The captain and three officers of the Grace 1 have been released from arrest, the Gibraltar Government has confirmed in response to Chronicle questions.

The US Department of Justice has applied to seize the Iranian supertanker Grace 1 in Gibraltar, just hours before the Gibraltar Government was poised to release it.

Commenting on the issue, a source in the Gibraltar government told that a captain and three crew members of the Iranian tanker have already been released.

The Iranian tanker was detained by the Gibraltar law enforcement, supported by UK marines on 4 July, on suspicions of transporting oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif slammed the seizure as an act of "pure piracy" which he said "sets a dangerous precedent".

The seizure was followed by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps seizing the UK-flagged Stena Impero tanker in the Gulf over the vessel’s violation of maritime rules.

MA/PR

News Code 148906

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