FILE PHOTO: Iranian oil tanker Grace 1 sits anchored after it was seized earlier this month by British Royal Marines off the coast of the British Mediterranean territory on suspicion of violating sanctions towards Syria, within the Strait of Gibraltar, southern Spain July 20, 2019. REUTERS/Jon Nazca/File Photograph
DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran stated on Tuesday that Britain would possibly free its oil tanker Grace 1 quickly in a maritime saga that has exacerbated frictions between Tehran and the West.
However a supply for the federal government of British Mediterranean territory Gibraltar, the place marines seized the tanker on July four on suspicion of violating European sanctions by taking oil to Syria, denied an Iranian report that would occur on Tuesday.
Tehran has denied its vessel was doing something improper and in retaliation its Revolutionary Guards seized the British-flagged Stena Impero tanker within the Strait of Hormuz waterway on July 19 for alleged marine violations.
The deputy head of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organisation, Jalil Eslami, stated in remarks reported by state information company IRNA that Britain was considering of releasing the Grace 1 following an change of paperwork.
“The vessel was seized primarily based on false allegations … it has not been freed but,” Eslami stated.
“We hope the discharge will happen quickly.”
Iran’s semi-official Fars information company, quoting unidentified Gibraltar authorities, stated the tanker could be freed by Tuesday night. A senior Gibraltarian authorities supply stated that was not appropriate, although earlier the territory had stated it was in search of the de-escalate the scenario.
The tankers’ affair has added to worsening hostilities since Washington pulled out of a world settlement curbing Iran’s nuclear program and reimposed financial sanctions.
Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Extra reporting by Man Faulconbridge in London; Enhancing by Peter Graff and Andrew Cawthorne