Gibraltar Extends Detention of Iranian Tanker For 30 Days

The tanker Grace 1 was seized off Gibraltar on July 4

The tanker Grace 1 was seized off Gibraltar on July 4 More

Gibraltar was granted the power on Friday to detain Iran's Grace 1 oil tanker for another month, keeping the vessel at the centre of a big-power quarrel between Iran and the United States and its allies.

While the capture of the Grace 1 was based on Britain still technically being in the European Union and the European Union not wanting Syria to have any oil, the move against the MT Riah still has a lot of questions, with Iran's Foreign Ministry previously denying it happened, and still not having explained the confusion since then. It said the ship had been transferred to the country's maritime authorities. "So there is a big divergence of strategy on how to proceed and this tanker is a reflection of those divergences".

Iran has demanded the release of its crew and vessel, accusing the royal navy of piracy and has threatened London of retaliatory measures, a rhetoric that is raising tensions between the two nations in a region already inflamed with war and brinkmanship with the west.

But Britain, which wants to preserve the nuclear deal, has repeatedly indicated it wants a compromise over the tanker.

Gibraltar government's later said the Supreme Court has extended for 30 days the detention of the supertanker.

On Saturday, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt held a telephone conversation with Gibraltar's chief minister, during which the latter expressed the territory's preparedness "to facilitate the release of the detained assets to the rightful owner if we received guarantees that it would not be going to Syria".

In a statement made at the Gibraltar parliament, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said that his government would work closely with the Iranian government to ensure the release of the oil tanker after following all legal requirements.

Meanwhile, the White House says President Donald Trump has spoken on the phone with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss Iran and ongoing efforts to ensure that Tehran does not obtain a nuclear weapon.

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