- Title: Oil tanker Grace 1 remains anchored off Gibraltar coast
- Date: 15th August 2019
- Summary: AT SEA, OFF GIBRALTAR COAST (AUGUST 15, 2019) (REUTERS) GRACE 1 TURNING AROUND GRACE 1 PROW WITH THE ANCHOR DOWN BACK OF SHIP READING GRACE 1 VARIOUS OF GRACE 1 AT DUSK
- Embargoed: 29th August 2019 19:57
- Keywords: Iran Oil tanker Gibraltar Grace 1 departing
- Location: AT SEA OFF GIBRALTAR
- City: AT SEA OFF GIBRALTAR
- Country: Gibraltar
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA003ASBY5ON
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Grace 1 remained sitting anchored on Thursday (August 15) evening after Gibraltar decided to free the Iranian oil tanker.
Gibraltar officials did not immediately indicate when or if the ship would set sail after the United States launched a new, last-minute legal bid to hold it.
The Grace 1 was seized by British Royal Marine commandos in darkness off the coast of the territory at the western mouth of the Mediterranean on July 4 on suspicion of violating European Union sanctions by taking oil to Syria, a close ally of Iran.
Two weeks later, Iran seized a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz leading into the Gulf.
The two tankers have become pawns in the standoff between Iran and the West, their fate tangled up in the diplomatic differences between the EU's big powers and the United States.
Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo decided to lift the detention order after formal written assurances from Tehran that the ship would not discharge its 2.1 million barrels of oil in Syria.
The tanker remains anchored, Reuters witnesses said, though its prow has moved around by at least 180 degrees.
It was unclear whether this was due to the strong sea currents off Gibraltar or if it could be preparing to sail.
Earlier, a small vessel approached the Grace 1, which lowered a step ladder that at least two person used to reach the ship deck where they shook hands with people already on board.
(Production: Marco Trujillo, Mariano Valladolid, Jon Nazca, Silvio Castellanos)
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