Published: Tue, September 10, 2019

Iran to release captured British tanker

Iran to release captured British tanker

The Iranian tanker detained by British forces was later released and Iran has since freed seven of the 23 crew members of the Swedish-owned British-flagged Stena Impero tanker - one Russian, one Latvian and five Indian nationals.

Captured in July as the Grace I and renamed the Adrian Darya-1 after its release, an Iranian oil tanker has finally made its delivery, according to the Iranian Foreign Ministry, who termed the oil "sold".

The tanker Adrian Darya 1, which went dark off Syria last week, has been photographed by satellite off the Syrian port of Tartus.

The tanker was carrying 2.1 million barrels of Iranian crude oil.

Iran has denied the suggestion, and recently said the purchaser of the ship's oil would decide its ultimate destination.

But Trump reimposed crippling financial penalties on Iran after pulling out of the accord as part of a so-called "maximum pressure" campaign.

US Treasury official Sigal Mandelker said: "We will continue to put pressure on Iran and as President Trump said there will be no waivers of any kind for Iran's oil".

If there's one point on which the companies monitoring Iran agree, it's that the US hasn't yet achieved its goal: oil is still flowing.

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"The final steps of the legal procedure are underway and, God willing, the boat will be released in the coming days", he said, without giving further details.

Gibraltar security forces aided by British Royal Marines intercepted an Iranian tanker - the Grace 1 - off the coast of the United Kingdom overseas territory on July 4.

The ship, which was named Grace 1, was stopped by British Royal Marine commandos off Gibraltar on July 4 and in retaliation Iran seized a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz two weeks later.

The crisis began past year after US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal brokered between Iran and several world powers.

Iran's nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, warned on Sunday that European parties to the 2015 nuclear deal have failed to fulfil their commitments, which included relief from economic sanctions in exchange for verifiable denuclearization measures.

Despite US complaints and extradition requests, the Iranian tanker and its crew were released on 15 August by a court ruling in Gibraltar.

The spokesman further emphasized that the U.S. measures against the supertanker are contrary to global regulations, including the law of the sea and regulations of the worldwide Maritime Organization (IMO).

The official said, "We have no problem with the crew and captain of the ship". The tanker was detained in Gibraltar for allegedly breaking sanctions on Syria.

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