authorities say that the UK might free the Tehran-flagged tanker it captured in
July, suggesting that Britain could be coming around to the idea of an oil
tanker swap that it previously rejected.
Jalil Eslami, the deputy head of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization, said on Tuesday that Britain “is interested” in releasing the Grace 1 tanker.
“Britain is interested in releasing Iran’s oil tanker Grace 1… following the exchange of some documents, we hope the release will take place soon,” IRNA news agency cited Eslami as saying.
Eslami did not make clear what those documents are.
Iran’s state-run Fars news agency on Tuesday tweeted a photo of the Grace 1 alongside the caption: “According to government consultations, we expect to continue operating in the international waters with the Iranian flag in the very near future,” adding that “an informal exchange to resolve the issue” was underway.
The Royal Marines seized the Grace 1 off the British territory of Gibraltar on July 4 after the tanker was accused of transporting oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions.
On July 19, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard seized the British-flagged Stena Impero oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz in an apparent retaliation against the Grace 1’s seizure.