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Gibraltar denies releasing Iran’s Grace1 tanker

A high-ranking Gibraltar official denied the release of Grace 1 on Tuesday, August 13.

Fars News, the state-owned news agency in Iran had previously quoted Gibraltar officials saying the tanker will be released on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the Gibraltar government had said: “We are trying to de-escalate the tensions caused by the legal seizure of Grace 1.”

He also added that the seizure order for the tanker will expire next Saturday.

On the other side, Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization has reported an exchange of documents between the Islamic Republic and the UK for the release of Grace 1.

According to an Iranian official, Jalil Eslami: “Documents have been exchanged between the two countries that help release this ship.”

British forces landed a helicopter on the deck of Grace 1 on July third, and seized it in Gibraltar for transporting oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions.

Two weeks after the incident, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) seized a British tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, which led to criticism by Britain and European countries.

Islamic Republic officials called it a retaliation to the detainment of Grace 1.

Eslami continued: “After the seizure of the British tanker, US and UK tried to turn other countries against Iran…but no country other than Israel has joined their failed coalition.”

So far Britain, Israel, South Korea, and Australia have agreed to join the US-led coalition to protect shipping in the Persian Gulf.

Eslami also mentioned that in the past two months there have been some “concerns” regarding oil transport. He did not elaborate on the cause of these concerns.

According to Eslami, sanctions have impacted both related and unrelated industrial fields, and have increased the cost of shipping insurance in the region.

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