Grace tanker seized in Gibraltar
On July 13, authorities in the Gibraltar region and the Royal Navy stopped and seized an oil tanker carrying Iranian oil. An action that was one of the most important news of the world until the moment of liberation. The same day, Reuters quoted the Gibraltar local government as saying in a statement that, based on information from Refinitive Icon (a website that records the route of ships), there was sufficient evidence that the Grace 1 tanker was destined for the Banias refinery in Syria.
– Iran’s first reaction in this regard was to summon the British ambassador. “Following the illegal seizure of an Iranian oil tanker in the Strait of Gibraltar by the British Navy, the British ambassador to Tehran was summoned to the Foreign Ministry,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi wrote on Twitter.
Hours after the statement, John Bolton, the US president’s national security adviser, welcomed the incident and tweeted: “The United States and its allies will continue to prevent the Tehran and Damascus regimes from profiting from this illegal trade.”
– The officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran and other officials call the British action piracy and piracy and emphasize that the destination of the tanker was not Syria.
– On Friday, the crew of the Grace ship will be interrogated about the destination and cargo of the ship, and the Gibraltar authorities will extend the seizure of the Iranian tanker for another 14 days. Despite undeniable evidence of US requests for such a move, Gibraltar claims it did not seize the Iranian ship at the request of a country.
– Simultaneously with the arrest and interrogation of the ship’s crew, Iran’s reciprocal response to this action, travels in the Strait of Hormuz and waters near Iran are faced with ambiguities. White House officials say they are seeking a plan for a naval alliance in the Persian Gulf to escort ships and tankers.
Hojjatoleslam “President Hassan Rouhani”, Hojjatoleslam “Seyyed Ibrahim Ra’isi” Head of the Judiciary, “Amir Hatami” Minister of Defense, “Mohammad Hossein Bagheri” Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic, “Hamid Ba’idi Nejad” Ambassador of Iran in London, “Mohsen Rezaei »The secretary of the Expediency Council and many members of parliament emphasize that this action will not go unanswered and Britain should wait for the consequences of this robbery.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Mousavi did not consider Britain’s action legal and once again called for the lifting of the embargo on his tanker in Gibraltar. Zarif also calls this British action and excuses childish and ridiculous.
On July 12, the four detained crew members of the Grace ship were released on bail, and British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt described his telephone conversation with his Iranian counterpart as constructive and spoke of the possibility of releasing the Grace tanker.
On July 16th, the Supreme Leader of the Revolution, in a meeting with the Friday Imams, said: “The evil Britain is stealing pirates and stealing our ship; They commit crimes and give it a legal form. “The Islamic Republic and the faithful elements of the system do not leave these evils unanswered.”
– On Thursday, July 18th, the Revolutionary Guards announced in a statement the seizure of a foreign vessel carrying one million liters of smuggled fuel in the south of Lark Island in the Persian Gulf and emphasized: “This ship was crossing the Strait of Hormuz due to non-compliance with rules and regulations. “At the request of the Ports and Maritime Organization of Hormozgan Province, the International Maritime Organization has been detained by the IRGC Navy’s 1st Region Floating Unit.”
– With the seizure of the tanker “Astana Impro”, the story of the tankers enters a new phase. Media propaganda reports of a possible military conflict in the region, but Jeremy Hunt denies this; It is enough to threaten Iran. Some European and regional countries do not consider Iran’s action justifiable. But Zarif tweeted that “unlike piracy in the Strait of Gibraltar, our action is to comply with international maritime law.”
– Consideration of several options, convening a cobra meeting, regional and trans-regional consultations condemning Iran’s action, London’s reactions to the seizure of its ship are reactions that have been ineffective by Iran’s legal action.
At the same time as Britain and the United States are trying to form a naval alliance in the Persian Gulf, Iran will present documents to the Security Council on August 2 documenting the legality of the seizure of the British ship. Earlier, Britain wrote a letter to the organization calling Iran’s seizure of its ship a “clear violation of international law.”
– International and regional consultations with Iran for the release of the British tanker have intensified, but the announcement of plans such as sending a European navy to the Persian Gulf in practice will lead to the failure of these consultations.
– On the 7th of August, the offer to exchange two Iranian and British ships was rejected by both the British Foreign Secretary Dominic Robb and the Iranian Ambassador to London Hamid Ba’idi Nejad and was considered impossible.
– The news silence of the middle weeks of August is broken by announcing the exchange of documents between Iran and Britain. “Documents have been exchanged between the two countries to help lift the embargo,” said Jalil Eslami, deputy director of maritime affairs at the Ports and Maritime Organization, who expressed interest in freeing the seized Iranian oil ship. Earlier, the Tanker Trackers Shipping Tracking Institute announced that it had sent a signal to change the destination of the Grace 1 tanker from Gibraltar to Morocco. Hours later, the news was denied, and news agencies, citing Gibraltar officials, ruled out the possibility of an “immediate release” of the Iranian supercar.
– Speculations about Grace’s release are published this time by the British newspaper, and this reinforces the possibility of release. Gibraltar local government official Fabian Picardo was quoted as saying that the Grace ship would be released on Thursday, August 15th.
– On Thursday, August 15th, Reuters news agency, quoting an informed source, announced the release of the Iranian tanker, and at the same time as the possibility of the release of the Iranian Iranian ship intensified, it officially demanded its seizure by Gibraltar authorities.
Finally, on the evening of Thursday, August 15, the local newspaper Gibraltar reported that a court in the British-ruled region had ruled in favor of the release of the Iranian super-oil tanker Grace-1, and the British government finally released the Grace 1 tanker five weeks later.
– The United States is still trying to re-seize Grace 1. Zarif tweeted that “this attempt at piracy is a sign of Trump’s disregard for the law.” However, the court does not consider US requests.
After his release, Grace 1, named Adrian Darya, is on his way to the Mediterranean ports