Iran thanks Saudi Arabia for releasing tanker "Happiness 1"

As tensions mount around the British tanker boarded Friday by Iran, Tehran announces the release of one of its vessels held in Saudi Arabia.


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Tankers in the Gulf of Oman. GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP

As tensions mount around the British tanker boarded Friday by Iran, Tehran announces the release of one of its vessels held in Saudi Arabia.

The ship in question, Happiness 1 , had been withheld for three months by Saudi Arabia. This release may herald a new stage in negotiations between Iran and US allies.

For now, the information comes only from the official agency of the Iranian Ministry of Petroleum. Happiness 1 was reportedly forced to stop in Jeddah in western Saudi Arabia late last April to solve a technical problem. Since he could not leave the port.

Abbas Mousavi, spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry said that " Iran thanks the efforts of the Saudi authorities, Swiss and omanies to allow the safe return of the Iranian oil tanker Happiness 1 ".

From now on, the tanker is heading towards the Persian Gulf.

A step towards appeasement?

Saudi Arabia supported by Washington is currently waging a regional war of influence against its Iranian neighbor. This announcement could therefore be the sign of a beginning of appeasement. The oil companies appear to be currently being used as pawns amidst the tensions caused by the withdrawal of the United States from the Iran nuclear deal.

On Friday, a British-flagged vessel was arrested by the Revolutionary Guards as a response to the detention of the Iranian tanker arrested by the British authorities. The fate of these boats and their crews is currently pending.

Tense relationships

In London, possible additional measures are announced in the hours or days to come, even if the head of the British diplomacy says that the priority remains to find a way to defuse the situation .

Iran's ambassador to the United Kingdom, Hamid Baeidinejad, has also called on the British government to prevent an escalation of tension beyond ship issues.

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IRNA English (@Irnafrench) July 21, 2019

ref: rfi