Tehran says Britain might free Iran’s oil tanker soon

August 13, 2019

TEHRAN – Jalil Eslami, an official at Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization, announced on Tuesday that Britain might free Iranian-operated oil tanker Grace 1 soon.

“Britain is interested in releasing Iran’s oil tanker Grace 1 … following the exchange of some documents, we hope the release will take place soon,” IRNA quoted Eslami, the organization’s deputy chief, as saying.

British Royal Marines seized the oil tanker on July 4 off the coast of the British Mediterranean territory of Gibraltar on suspicion of violating EU sanctions by taking oil to Syria, which Iran denies.

“The vessel was seized based on false allegations …it has not been freed yet,” Eslami said.

Two weeks after the capture of the Iranian tanker, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps seized a British tanker, Stena Impero, in the Strait of Hormuz, saying it was violating marine regulations. Britain considers that action to have been retaliation.

Tehran’s ambassador to London had previously told Sky News that if Grace 1 is released it will help a release of Stena Impero by Iran.

PA/PA

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