August 15, /TASS/. Gibraltar’s authorities have decided to release the Iranian Grace 1 tanker after the British overseas territory secured assurances from Tehran that the tanker will not unload the oil in Syria, the Gibraltar Chronicle newspaper reported on Thursday following the hearing in a Gibraltar court.
According to the newspaper, it is currently unclear when the tanker will leave Gibraltar and whether the United States will appeal the court’s decision before it departs.
The Panama-flagged Grace 1 supertanker was detained by Gibraltar on July 4 on suspicion of transporting crude oil to Syria in violation of sanctions. The UK Royal Marines took part in the operation. According to Gibraltar authorities, the 28 crewmembers, citizens of India, Pakistan and Ukraine, were aboard the tanker.
Acting Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borell said that the vessel had been seized at the US request. Iran repeatedly voiced protests regarding the seizure, slamming it as an act of piracy. In the last few days, Iranian media have been reporting that Grace 1 would be released in the near future.