Britain Says Iranian Tanker Probe Is A Matter For Gibraltar

The Grace 1 super tanker suspected of carrying Iranian crude oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions in the British territory of Gibraltar after it was detained

Iran's semi-official Fars news agency quoted unidentified Gibraltar authorities as saying the tanker would bee freed on Tuesday evening.

"We remain committed to working with Iran and our worldwide partners to de-escalate the situation and maintain the nuclear deal".

An official of the Iranian Ports and Shipping Organization says Iran and the United Kingdom have exchanged documents in a bid to release an Iranian oil tanker detained in Gibraltar.

Last month, calling for the immediate release of Grace 1, an Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson told the state-run IRNA news agency: "This is a risky game and has consequences".

The tankers' affair has added to worsening hostilities since Washington pulled out of an worldwide agreement curbing Iran's nuclear program and reimposed economic sanctions.

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

Although Grace 1 was seized by British forces, Britain said on Tuesday that investigations into the tanker Grace were a matter for Gibraltar.

Tanker Trackers, a company that monitors ship movements, said Grace-1 was sending signals on Monday that indicate it will leave Gibraltar toward a destination in Morocco, although the vessel is still in Gibraltar.

Gibraltar - a British overseas territory - seized the Grace 1 supertanker on July 4 with the help of British Royal Marines on suspicion it was shipping oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions. Tehran denies that the tanker was heading to Syria and calls Britain's actions "maritime piracy". Tehran said that the ship had breached maritime legislation by ignoring warnings from the military, switching off its positioning device and colliding with an Iranian fishing boat.



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