Iran's PMO, judiciary to decide on Stena Impero: IRGC

TEHRAN, Aug. 18 (MNA) – Port and Maritime Organization of Iran (PMO) and Iranian Judiciary system are to decide on the case of the seized British oil tanker by IRGC, the corps' Navy Commander Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri said on Sunday.

“There is no relation between the release of Grace 1 from Gibraltar and the British oil tanker detained by IRGC,” he said.

The British oil tanker has been seized by IRGC because of its three definite infringements of international regulations, he underlined.

Commander of the Iranian Army's Navy Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi announced on Sunday that Iran is not intended to escort Grace 1 but if need it is ready to safeguard the oil tanker to Iranian territorial waters.

He said that Army is ready to dispatch a naval fleet to escort the released oil tanker back to Iranian waters whenever Iranian officials require.

As reported, Iranian oil tanker, previously called Grace 1, has left Gibraltar, after a month of being unlawfully detained by UK.

Britain’s naval forces unlawfully seized the Grace 1 and its cargo of 2.1 million barrels of oil in the Strait of Gibraltar on July 4 under the pretext that the supertanker had been suspected of carrying crude to Syria in violation of the European Union’s unilateral sanctions against the Arab country.

Tehran, however, rejected London’s claim that the tanker was heading to Syria, slamming the seizure as “maritime piracy.”

Gibraltar’s government announced this week it was releasing the supertanker despite pressure from the US for the vessel’s continued detainment.

The oil tanker is now renamed and sails under Iranian flag.

Iran stresses that seizure of the UK-flagged oil tanker took place after it ignored international maritime rules.

HJ/IRN 83442038

News Code 149022

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