Tensions in the Middle East have risen to critical levels following a series of events in the region, including the seizure of UK-flagged oil tanker. The capture of the tanker by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard was in response to the Iranian oil tanker, Grace 1 being seized off the coast of Gibraltar. In what will be seen as a major climbdown, Grace 1 is expected to be released today according to The Sun.
Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, has confirmed that the country will not apply to renew the order to detain the ship.
A source close to Mr Picardo told The Sun: “There is no reason to keep Grace 1 in Gibraltar a moment longer if we no longer believe it is in breach of sanctions against the Syrian regime.
“That is now the case, so you can expect to see her on her way tomorrow.”
Last month, Royal Marines seized the tanker as it passed through British territorial waters allegedly on route to Syria.
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By doing that, the oil tanker would, therefore, violate EU sanctions.
If the ship is released, it could raise expectations that the UK-flagged Stena Impero could also be released.
Following the capture of the tanker, the UK Government held an emergency COBR meeting.
Downing Street called the seizure an “unacceptable and highly escalatory”.
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Then Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt also called the act of “state piracy”.
Following that, the UK insisted that such an act would cause an increased presence in the region.
Away from relations with the UK, Iran also issued a threat to the US in an apparent message to US President Donald Trump.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif insisted that “every empire will end” in open warning to Trump.