Iranian Ambassador to London Hamid Baeidinejad said the release of an Iranian supertanker in Gibraltar in defiance of Washington’s last-minute request to detain the vessel, was “a humiliating defeat” for the US government.
“The US, with its forlorn last-ditch attempts, tried to prevent the release of the oil tanker but faced a humiliating defeat,” Baeidinejad said on his Twitter account on Thursday night.
“With the efforts over the past few days, all necessary preparations and technical arrangements have been made for the tanker to move to the high seas,” he said, as cited by Tasnim news agency.
The authorities in Gibraltar on Thursday released the Iranian vessel, Grace 1 (now known as Adrian Darya), defying a US request hours earlier to seize the ship. They also released the ship’s crew from detention.
On July 4, the British Royal Marines seized the giant Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar for trying to take oil to Syria allegedly in violation of EU sanctions.
Tehran maintained that the supertanker was not bound for Syria and its seizure has taken place at the behest of the US.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry had summoned the British envoy to Tehran several times in protest at the UK navy’s move.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had warned London that it will definitely pay the price for the seizure of Grace 1 in international waters.
Source: Iranian media