March 1, 2021

Iran urges the United Kingdom to release soon the oil tanker held in Gibraltar

Iran urged the United Kingdom today to release "as soon as possible" the Iranian supertanker held for more than a week in Gibraltar, after last Thursday Peñón police arrested the captain and the ship's first officer.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abas Musavi said the UK's reasons for seizing the supertanker Grace 1 are "irrelevant from a legal point of view," according to the official IRNA news agency.

The Gibraltar authorities maintain that the ship was carrying oil to a Syrian refinery, which violates the sanctions imposed by the European Union (EU), but Iran denies that the Arab country was their destination.

In this regard, Musaví affirmed that the Grace 1 "can not dock in the Syrian ports because it is a supertanker" and that, although it was directed to the Arab country, it is supposed that the European sanctions are not extraterritorial.

"Our question to the British is whether the Islamic Republic of Iran is under sanctions from the European Union, is Europe imposing sanctions on (Iranian) oil?" He questioned.

Iranian oil is from November 2018 under US sanctions, which adopted this measure after unilaterally withdraw from the nuclear agreement of 2015, a pact that still has the support of the EU.

The investigation into the Grace 1 in Gibraltar is still ongoing and the Gibraltar Police is questioning the captain and the first officer, who were arrested after a search of the ship in which they intervened and analyzed documents and electronic devices.

The arrests came shortly after an incident in the Strait of Hormuz between a British tanker and Iranian vessels.

London claims that a British Navy frigate had to intervene to prevent Iranian vessels from intercepting the British oil tanker, a version denied by Tehran.

However, the Iranian authorities have threatened that the Grace 1 detention in Gibraltar will have consequences and will face an appropriate response from the Islamic Republic.

(tagsToTranslate) Iran (t) Kingdom (t) Kingdom (t) oil tanker (t) Gibraltar

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