Gibraltar releases Iranian oil tanker Grace 1

August 16, 2019

Gibraltar government has released the Iranian supertanker Grace 1, despite the US' attempt to block the release of the vessel.

 "Authorities in Gibraltar have released the Iranian supertanker Grace 1, which was seized on July 4 on suspicion it was shipping 2.1 million barrels of crude oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions," the Gibraltar Chronicle reported on Thursday.

The chief justice of Gibraltar's supreme court, Anthony Dudley, has said in the report that the court has received no US application.

Following the decision by the Gibraltar court, Iran's Ambassador to UK Hamid Baeidinejad said in a tweet on his official Twitter page that the decision by the officials of Gibraltar put an end to 40 days of illegal seizure of the tanker, which carries the Iranian oil.

“Up to the last minute, the United States tried in vain to prevent the release of the tanker, but was faced with a humiliating defeat,” Iran's UK envoy added.

Baeidinejad stated that all preliminary steps have been taken to ensure the tanker’s movement toward free waters and “the vessel will soon leave the Gibraltar region.”

Earlier today, Gibraltar government announced that the captain and the officers of the Iranian tanker Grace 1, which was seized by British marines in the Strait of Gibraltar on July 4, have been released from arrest.

The Gibraltar Chronicle also allegedly claimed that the decision to release the tanker came after receiving formal written assurances from the Iranian government that it would not unload its cargo in Syria.

Iran has strictly rejected any claims regarding the destination of the vessel.

Earlier on Thursday, Gibraltar said that the US Department of Justice had applied to seize the Grace 1 on a number of allegations.

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