A report by the Iranian government Wednesday stated Britain breached international regulation this month when it held the Grace 1 oil tanker, which was taken in global seas off the coast of Gibraltar.
Iran’s vice presidency for legal proceedings issued the report. The British Royal Marines captured the oil banker July 4 on suspicion it breached European Union penalties by trying to travel to Syria.
The report argued the vessel is owned by Russia and voyaged under the flag of Panama, making it subject to Iran’s legal guidelines.
Civil rights NGO Shurat HaDin, which has connections with the Israeli intelligence group Mossad, has since approached the Gibraltar Supreme Court about a command to hold the Grace 1 and its freight. The group stated it wants money from the capture to pay losses for victims of Iran-sponsored terrorism.
Last weekend, another oil tanker disappeared in the Strait of Hormuz when its tracking machine was switched off. Wednesday, Tehran said the United Arab Emirates-based Riah tanker — which was also Panamanian-flagged — was towed to Iranian waters for the fixture. Iran Foreign Ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi pledged more details concerning the tanker at a later time.
The Riah’s disappearance further escalated fears in the area, where several oil tankers have been targeted in recent weeks. Iran warned to target a British vessel after the Grace 1 capture, leading London to increase security. British officers said this week they will send the HMS Kent warship to the Persian Gulf this fall. The shift was prompted by the planned withdrawal of the HMS Montrose, which officers said escaped three Iranian ships last week