Gibraltar Releases Iran Tanker, Grace 1, Despite U.S. Appeal
A local barrister who was in court during the hearing says authorities have released an Iranian supertanker at the center of a standoff with Tehran, that the U.S. had sought to seize through legal action.
The British overseas territory of Gibraltar turned back U.S. objections on Thursday and released the Iranian supertanker Grace 1 from detention, after receiving assurances from Tehran that it would not send its crude oil cargo to Syria.
“There are no longer reasonable grounds to suspect that the detention of the vessel is required,” chief minister Fabian Picardo said in a statement.
Hours earlier, the U.S. signaled it wanted to block the release of the ship, which had been seized by Britain July 4. That delayed the ruling, but Chief Justice Anthony Dudley said he had not received a written request from the U.S.
The U.S. could, however, could still seek to detain the ship as long as it remains in Gibraltar’s waters. It was unclear how soon the ship might sail away.