15 August 2019
A seized Iranian tanker held in Gibraltar is to be released, the local supreme court has ruled, despite a last-minute plea by the US authorities.
Gibraltar received formal written assurances from Iran that the ship would not discharge its cargo in Syria.
Grace 1, carrying Iranian oil, was stopped by Royal Marines on 4 July, triggering a standoff with Tehran.
Gibraltar’s chief justice, Anthony Dudley, said no US application was currently before the court.
- UK to join US-led taskforce in Gulf
- Marines used brute force, says tanker captain
- Iran, tankers and the Gulf crisis explained
- What’s so important about a ship’s flag?
A couple of weeks after the Iranian tanker was stopped, Iran seized a British-flagged tanker, the Stena Impero, in the Gulf and, despite official denials, there has been speculation of a swap if the Grace 1 is freed.
Relations between the US and Iran have deteriorated sharply since US President Donald Trump took office in 2017, with the two countries coming close to armed conflict in June.