Gibraltar Frees Iran Tanker After US Tries to Prevent It

US sought to have Gibraltar give the tanker to them

Gibraltar has decided that they intend to release the Grace 1, an Iranian oil tanker seized by British forces in early July. That release happened Thursday in spite of the US legal efforts, though the Grace 1 has not actually left port yet.

It’s not clear what the US claim for trying to seize the ship is, beyond officials saying they view the tanker as Iranian trade to Syria, and they don’t like both of those things. Britain said they were given advanced notice of this effort.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused the US of attempted piracy, and of “trying to abuse the legal system to steal our property.” The tanker’s owner indicated that the ship is planning to head to Mediterranean ports as soon as they are properly out of port.

Interestingly, Iran appeared to also have some advanced knowledge of this, with Iranian media reporting that the Grace 1 was to be released Tuesday. Gibraltar denied there were any such plans, but there clearly were until the US got involved.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of