The United States on Friday (August 16th) issued a warrant to seize an Iranian oil tanker boarded and released by Gibraltar, a move likely to revive the already strong tensions between Washington and Tehran. Arguably on 4 July, Grace 1 was suspected by the Gibraltar authorities of transporting 2.1 million barrels of Iranian oil to Syria, hit by an EU embargo, which Iran has denied to many. times.
The Gibraltar government said Thursday, Aug. 15, that it had received Tehran's written pledge not to send the barrels to Syria, and the Supreme Court of that small British territory in the far south of Spain lifted the blockage of the barrel. ship.
Suspicions of "illegal" trafficking to Syria
For his part, the US Minister of Justice issued a warrant on Friday, August 16, to seize the oil tanker, accusing him in a statement of serving "illegal" trafficking to Syria, orchestrated by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. , a group placed by Washington on its blacklist of "foreign terrorist organizations".
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Friday (August 16th) that his country had given Gibraltar "no guarantee that Grace 1 would not go to Syria".
"The destination of the tanker was not Syria (...) and even if it was the case, this is nobody's business," he said, quoted by a site of the chain of state television, Irib. "Our illegally seized oil tanker has been released, and this victory, achieved without giving them any concessions, is the result of a powerful diplomacy and a strong will to fight for the rights of the nation", for its part tweeted the government spokesman Ali Rabiei.