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Iran warns the US against any attempt to seize the tanker released by Gibraltar

August 19, 2019

DUBAI, Aug 19 (Reuters / EP) –

Iran has warned the United States against any new attempt to seize the Iranian oil tanker that was released by Gibraltar this Monday after its arrest in early July for transporting oil to Syria, a country subject to embargo by the EU.

Iranian tanker 'Grace 1' has left Gibraltar early in the morning and sails to Greece, according to navigation data, hours after Gibraltar rejected a request from the United States to retain the ship.

Asked if the United States could renew its request to intercept the ship now that it has sailed again, the spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Abbas Musavi, has warned that “such an action (…) would jeopardize the safety of navigation in high sea”.

“We have conveyed a warning through official channels, especially the Swiss Embassy,” the spokesman explained in televised statements. The United States does not have an embassy in Iran, so Switzerland is the one who represents its interests in the country.

On the other hand, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Navy, Brigadier General Alireza Tangsiri, has defended on Monday that the case of the British oil tanker arrested in July by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz, in what was seen as a reprisal in the case of 'Grace 1', it has to be valued and decided by the Iranian justice and the Maritime and Port Organization.

In statements in an act in Tehran collected by the state agency IRNA, he stressed that the arrest and subsequent release of 'Grace 1' has nothing to do with the case of the British ship seized by Iran and that the violations committed by the 'Stera Impero 'are clear.