All tagged UK

Gibraltar Court Agrees to Release Detained Oil Tanker

◢ A Gibraltar court agreed to release the supertanker Grace 1, which had been held since last month on suspicion of hauling Iranian crude oil to Syria in violation of European sanctions. The U.S. was seeking to seize the vessel, though it didn’t put in a legal request to do so, according to the judge in the case.

Iran Says It Expects Tanker Held by U.K. to Be Released Soon

◢ Iran expects an oil tanker seized by the U.K. in the Strait of Gibraltar in July will be released soon, the semi-official Fars News agency reported Tuesday. “Official and unofficial documents have been exchanged to resolve the matter and we hope the problem will be dealt with in the very near future,” said Jalil Eslami, deputy for maritime affairs at Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization.

Bolton to Press Britain's Johnson on Iran

◢ US National Security Advisor John Bolton was Monday to sound out British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on global disputes that include an escalating Gulf standoff with Iran. The hawkish White House aide is the most senior US official to meet Johnson since he succeeded Theresa May as UK government leader last month.

Britain Rules Out Seized Tanker Swap With Iran

◢ Britain on Monday ruled out swapping seized oil tankers with Iran as a second UK warship arrived in the Gulf to conduct convoys that have irritated Tehran. A sense of crisis in the world's busiest oil shipping lane has been building up for weeks as Iran responds to US President Donald Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign.

Europeans Plan Naval Mission to Protect Ships in Persian Gulf

◢ European governments will assemble a naval mission to provide safe passage for ships through the Persian Gulf, after Iran seized a British oil tanker in the region last week, an act that U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt described as “state piracy.” Hunt announced a “European-led maritime protection mission to support safe passage of crew and cargo” in a statement to Britain’s Parliament in London on Monday.

UK Mulls Options as Iran Says Ship's Fate Depends on Probe

◢ Iran warned Sunday that the fate of a UK-flagged tanker it seized in the Gulf depends on an investigation, as Britain said it was considering options in response to the standoff. Authorities impounded the Stena Impero with 23 crew members aboard off the port of Bandar Abbas after the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps seized it Friday in the highly sensitive Strait of Hormuz.

UK Says Iran Tanker Will be Freed After Guarantees on Destination

◢ British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt sought to ease tensions with Iran on Saturday, saying a tanker held by Gibraltar would be released if Tehran guaranteed it was not heading to Syria. He said he had a "constructive call" with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, who he said assured him that Tehran "is not seeking to escalate" tensions between the countries.

Britain Says Iran Tried to 'Impede' UK Tanker in Persian Gulf

◢ Britain said on Thursday that Iranian military vessels tried to "impede the passage" of a UK oil tanker but were warned off by a British warship in a dramatic escalation of tensions with Tehran in the Gulf. "Contrary to international law, three Iranian vessels attempted to impede the passage of a commercial vessel, British Heritage, through the Strait of Hormuz," the UK defence ministry said in a statement.

British Foreign Minister Visits Iran for Nuclear Talks

◢ British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt was to visit Iran for the first time on Monday for talks about the nuclear deal and freeing UK nationals held in Iranian jails. Iran has been abiding by the terms of its nuclear deal with global powers, the latest report from the UN atomic watchdog indicated last week, days after fresh US sanctions hit the country.

UK Investor Halts Iran Solar Project Over US Sanctions

◢ British group Quercus, an investor in renewable energy, said Tuesday it will halt work on a major solar plant in Iran after the country was hit by US economic sanctions. "Following the US sanctions on Iran, we have decided to cease all activities in the country, including our 600 MW (megawatt) project," Quercus chief executive Diego Biasi said Tuesday in comments later confirmed by a company spokesman.