The commander of Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, IRGC navy has said that two tankers, one seized by Iran and another in Gibraltar are two separate issues and “their detention or release are not related with one another”.
Admiral Alireza Tangsiri told reporters on Sunday, “The British tanker [seized by Iran] has three violations, which must be dealt with”.
He added that Iran’s Judiciary and Port Authority are the powers that will decide the fate of the vessel.
An Iranian supertanker with more than two million barrels of oil was detained by Gibraltar on July 4 and after more than a month was declared free on August 16. The United States issued a warrant same day, asking Gibraltar to seize the ship because of its links with sanctioned Iranian entities. Latest reports say the request was denied by Gibraltar and Grace-1 may leave soon.
News agencies on Sunday were anticipating the Iranian tanker to leave Gibraltar by nightfall, but there is no news about any movement at the time of this report.
In retaliation, Iran seized a British tanker on July 19, claiming it violated international maritime rules. The UK has repeatedly said that the Iranian tanker was detained for carrying oil for Syria sanctioned by EU, while the British tanker was sailing in international waters when it was seized by Iran.