Gibraltar Authorities Release Iranian Supertanker Grace 1

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Super Tanker Grace 1. IMAGE: Tony Hogwood/MarineTraffic.com

Gibraltar authorities have released the Iranian supertanker Grace 1, the Gibraltar Chronicle newspaper reported on August 15.

“The Government of #Gibraltar has now received formal written assurances from the Iranian government that the ship will not discharge its cargo in Syria … On that basis, Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo has decided to lift the detention order and allow the ship to sail,” the Gibraltar Chronicle reported.

The newspaper noted that it is not clear at this stage when the vessel will sail from Gibraltar, or whether the US will formally apply to the court to detain it before that happens.

A detachment of the Royal Marines seized Grace 1 on July 4. Back then, Gibraltar authorities claimed that the Iranian supertanker was transporting oil to Syria, which would represent a violation of the EU’s sanctions on the Damascus government.

Iran responded to the seizure of Grace 1 by capturing British-flagged tanker Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz on July 19. The tanker was reportedly violating safety measures.

The fate of the British tanker remains unclear. However, the release of Grace 1 will likely encourage Iran to release it very soon.

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