Iranian President Hints at Possible Swap of Tankers With Britain

Says Britain should step away from 'wrong actions' in Gibraltar

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani made comments about the capture of oil tankers during his weekly cabinet meeting, and hinted at the possibility of a tanker swap with Britain to resolve the situation.

Britain seized Iran’s Grace 1 tanker early this month near Gibraltar, and then Iran seized a British tanker last week. Rouhani said that if Britain steps away from its “wrong actions” in Gibraltar, they could expect an appropriate response.

Which isn’t a direct offer to trade, but it’s close enough that all analysts are interpreting it as such. Iran has also reported that they have received a British mediator who was sent to address the fate of the tanker.

This again suggests that a swap is likely. Though the British mediator was said just to be addressing the British tanker, it is clear what direction any deal is going to have to go to be palatable for Iran. If Britain isn’t prepared to at least consider that, they wouldn’t bother with a mediator, and would rather just protest at the diplomatic level.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.