Detained Tanker Will Be Released As Long As The Cargo Does Not Break EU Sanctions

Posted on July 15, 2019

Iran’s response has been that they should be allowed to continue oil exports on their own terms. Anglo-Iranian tension remains high after the shipping attacks in the Gulf and the intervention of HMS Montrose in another incident.

Police in Gibraltar released the crew of the supertanker Grace 1, which was detained on suspicion of breaching EU sanctions against Syria. The captain, chief officer and two second officers were conditionally bailed without charge, according to authorities. The captain and his deputy were arrested on Thursday, while the other crew were arrested on Friday “as a consequence of the ongoing investigation into the suspected breach of EU sanctions on Syria,” police said in a statement. Their arrests came after a Royal Navy warship drove off Iranian patrol boats as they attempted to impede the progress of a British tanker through the Strait of Hormuz.

That incident followed a warning by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani of unspecified “repercussions” for the seizure of the Grace 1 off Gibraltar on Thursday 4th July. In London, ministers have urged Tehran to “de-escalate” the situation in the Gulf. The Royal Gibraltar Police said the investigation related to the arrests is ongoing and the vessel remains in detention.

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