Iran: UK shows interest in resolving issue
Gibraltar said on Tuesday it was seeking to de-escalate issues arising with Iran since the detention of the Grace 1 tanker.
“We continue to seek to de-escalate issues arising since the lawful detention of Grace 1,” a spokesman for Gibraltar said. The current detention order on the vessel expires on Saturday night, the spokesman said.
British Royal Marines seized the supertanker carrying Iranian oil on July 4 off the coast of the British Mediterranean territory of Gibraltar on suspicion of violating EU sanctions by taking oil to Syria, which Tehran denies.
Iran called the seizure of the ship "piracy" and warned it would not let the interception go unanswered.
On July 19, Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps impounded the British-flagged Stena Impero oil tanker in the strategic Strait of Hormuz for breaking "international maritime rules".
Iran in touch with Gibraltar
Iran's port authority said Tuesday it has been in contact with British authorities as part of efforts to secure the release of the tanker.
A court in Gibraltar is to decide the fate of the ship on Thursday, when an order for its detention lapses.
Jalil Eslami, the deputy head of Iran's port authority, said that Britain had shown an interest in overcoming the problem and documents had been exchanged.
"Efforts from Iran and the port organization have been made for the release of this ship," he said.
"I hope this problem will be resolved in the near future and that the ship can continue its movement with the flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran."
Reuters and AFP contributed to this story.