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Gibraltar police releases arrested crew of supertanker Grace 1

Christian Fernsby |
Gibraltar police announced that all crew of the supertanker Grace 1, carrying Iranian oil, were released on bail shortly after freeing two captains.

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Gibraltar police said in a statement that all crew members have been released on bail but investigations are still underway and the supertanker is being held.

Gibraltar local police had captured two captains of the supertanker carrying Iranian oil for the alleged violation of EU sanctions against Syria.

The police said that it confiscated documents and the electronic system of the supertanker.

In the wake of the news on dispatching UK second warship to the Persian Gulf, the UK Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs said the UK is not seeking to escalate tensions with Iran.

“This is that the situation is changing every hour, but we are reacting to what is happening in measured and careful way and we are being clear to Iran that we are seeking to escalate the situation.”

SkyNews announced that HMS Duncan, a Type 45 Destroyer, will sail to the Persian Gulf in the coming days after completing NATO exercises in the Black Sea.

It stressed that HMS will not be part of an international maritime coalition proposed by Washington.

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt claimed: “Supertanker Grace 1 was seized for heading to Syria that was a clear breach of sanctions it wasn’t because it was coming from Iran, adding that the UK is after finding a way to resolve the issue.

Earlier, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said London's claims about the seizure of the supertanker carrying Iranian oil are legally irrelevant and urged Britain to free the supertanker as soon as possible.

Mousavi rejected Britain's claim on the destination of supertanker Grace 1, saying that "the tanker cannot harbor in Syrian ports because it is a supertanker.

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif described the UK act to seize the supertanker Iranian oil in Strait of Gibraltar as piracy, saying it is crystal clear that it has been accomplished upon US request.

He added that the UK vindication in this regard is childish and ridiculous.

The UK should officially announce that it has carried out the US demand, Zarif noted.

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