The UK is to released an Iranian-owned oil tanker that its forces hijacked and detained in the territory of Gibraltar back to Iran’s control over the coming days, perhaps the next 48 hours – so reports Iranian media.
The tanker, Grace 1, had been seized by British special forces as it transited the Strait of Gibraltar reportedly en-route to Syria in July.
The official explanation offered by the UK foreign office for their seizure of the tanker and its contents (some two million barrels of oil) has that the Iranian vessel was violating European Union sanctions against Syria’s Assad government – which prohibits petroleum trade to the country.
Not long later, Iran hijacked and detained a British oil tanker – the Stena Impero – whilst it passed through the Strait of Hormuz. The vessel is still being held by Iranian military authorities.
Some analysts believe that the releasing of Iran’s Grace 1 tanker may lead to Iran releasing the UK-owned Stena Impero.