Captain of the Iranian supertanker trying to leave Gibraltar "does not want to stay in command," says the lawyer
The captain of an Iranian supertanker at the center of a diplomatic stalemate no longer wants to retain command of the ship, which is in need of repair, which could hinder his immediate departure from Gibraltar, the sailor's solicitor said Friday.
The tanker – and its 2.1 million tonnes of light Iranian crude oil – appeared to be performing mild maneuvers on Friday, but remained in the waters of the waters of the waters of the country one day after the authorities ended their detention for alleged violations of EU sanctions British overseas territory largely quiet to Syria.
Thursday's release, when the United States reportedly wanted to recapture the tanker, came when Gibraltar's Prime Minister said Iran had promised not to deliver the fuel to a sanctioned refinery on Syrian territory. although an Iranian official later denied that these assurances had been delivered o take further legal action and try again to stop the tanker in the growing confrontation with Tehran seen from Gibraltar's Rock, as he did on Thursday in British territory of Gibraltar lying at anchor. “/>
A glance at the Grace 1
supertanker is left behind by Gibraltar's Rock, which is anchored in British Gibraltar territory. on Thursday.
Tensions have increased since last year, when President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the 2015 nuclear deal signed by Iran and other world powers. largely halting the international sale of Iranian crude oil and devaluing the Iranian currency, the Rial. More recently, the Persian Gulf has been attacking oil tankers and other high-stakes battles.
In early July, Tehran confiscated British flagship oil tanker Stena Impero as an obvious retaliation for the arrest of Grace 1. The analysts said so. The release of Grace 1 by Gibraltar saw the Stena Impero release.
However, this prospect remained in the air on Friday when a lawyer representing three Grace 1 crew members released on Thursday voiced doubts on the ship Immediate Departure.
Richard Wilkinson told The Associated Press that the Indian citizen, who commanded the oil tanker until his arrest in early July, had asked his Iranian employers to replace him.
"He does not want to keep command of the ship he wants to go home because he was not happy to go back and pick up the broken pieces," Wilkinson said. "But he is a professional skipper and has to wait until a new crew makes a proper handover."
Rear view of the Grace 1 supertankers on the British territory of Gibraltar on Thursday.
The lawyer stated that the tanker had to be repaired prior to its seizure in Gibraltar, which impeded the replacement of certain parts and made the tanker unsuitable for an immediate, long journey.
The next possible uncertainty is compounded The cargo's target became a point of contention when the Iranian and Gibraltarian authorities expressed disagreement over the conditions that led to the release of the vessel.
Abbas Mousavi, spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, said on Friday that the country had made no commitments to reach the release of his vessel Tanker, while the Prime Minister of Gibraltar insisted on the written assurances he had received.
The ship's hijackers "raised the issue of commitment to offset their humiliation caused by this illegal act and piracy," Abbas Mousavi said, according to Tasnim, the semi-official news agency.
"We have announced that Syria is not his goal and we have confirmed the same … and affirm that it was nobody's business, even if it were Syria," he added.
In response, the Government of Gibraltar issued a statement stating, "The evidence is clear and the facts speak louder than the selfish political statements we hear today."  The authorities in the area the mouth of the Mediterranean did not state whether the ship is expected to leave soon. Prime Minister Fabian Picardo said it was now exclusively a matter for the agents and owners of the ship.
"It can go as soon as it organizes the logistics needed to sail a ship of this size where it's going next." Fabian Picardo told the BBC. "It could be today, it could be tomorrow, this is now entirely a matter for ship agents and shipowners."
Gibraltar authorities said on Thursday that the US Department of Justice had requested the seizure of the vessel and its cargo, but Picardo said that such an application should be addressed directly to the judiciary of the territory and not to the government.
No US lawsuit had been filed by the end of the Friday business day, a spokesman for the Gibraltar Supreme Court told The Associated Press. The official was not allowed to be named in media reports.
Wilkinson, the Grace 1 captain's attorney, said it was a challenge for the US to ensure detention under the US sanctions against Iranian oil exports.  "You seem to want to enforce American sanctions in British territorial waters, so good luck," Wilkinson said, adding that "the US is pretty late in the day."
"You have to make a formal request to the court to write only a letter to the government, not enough," he said.
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Previously, US authorities had announced plans to revoke visas for a crew member's land on the Iranian oil tanker. Wilkinson said the move would not be problematic for most of the crew coming from Southeast Asian countries, including India.
In a statement, the State Department accused Grace 1 of supporting the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps in bypassing US sanctions on oil exports from the country. The Corps is referred to by the US as a foreign terrorist organization and is subject to separate sanctions.