Press TV – An Iranian oil tanker seized by British Royal Marines in early July will be released on Thursday, a report says.
Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo will not apply to renew the order to detain the Grace 1, The Sun reported on Wednesday night.
It said that the ship’s captain had given the Chief Minister a written undertaking, and Picardo will not ask a judge to extend its detention during a court hearing on Thursday.
“There is no reason to keep the Grace 1 in Gibraltar a moment longer if we no longer believe it is in breach of sanctions against” Syria, the British daily quoted a source close to the Chief Minister as saying.
“That is now the case, so you can expect to see her on her way tomorrow,” the source added.
On Tuesday, Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization announced that Britain is expected to soon free the tanker that it seized last month off the coast of Gibraltar. Speaking at a press conference, Jalil Eslami, the organization’s deputy head noted that London has shown willingness to resolve the diplomatic dispute that has broken out between the two sides over the case.
Additionally, on Tuesday, a spokesman for Gibraltar said the British overseas territory was seeking “to de-escalate issues arising since” the detention of the supertanker, Reuters reported.
Earlier, maritime security company Dryad Global reported that the Grace 1 had signaled a new destination of Morocco, but later removed the update.
TankerTrackers.com also tweeted that the tanker had been signaling Morocco as its next destination after having spent 5 weeks in Gibraltar.
On July 4, British naval forces in the Strait of Gibraltar off Spain seized the supertanker Grace 1 on the accusation that it was carrying Iranian oil to Syria in violation of the European Union’s unilateral sanctions on the Arab country. Iran denied that the vessel was heading for Syria, and Spain later informed that London had ordered the confiscation at the request of the United States, which is trying to trouble Iran’s international oil sales.
Later in the month, Iran seized an oil tanker sailing under the British ensign in the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf “for failing to respect international maritime rules.” According to Iranian officials, the tanker had failed to respond to pertinent authorities after an accident involving an Iranian fishing boat and changed route instead.