Aug 16, 2019, 12:32 PM
Journalist ID: 2374
News Code: 83439035
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Int’l lawyer terms Grace 1 seizure as bitter experience for London

Tehran, Aug 16, IRNA - A prominent lawyer from Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies believes the UK’s bitter experience of seizing Grace 1 supertanker indicates how expensive it would be for the countries to follow the extremist elements in Trump administration from political, strategic and prestige point of view.

Speaking to IRNA, Reza Nasri commented on the seizure of Grace 1 supertanker, which carried the Iranian oil, by Gibraltar local government, and said that the UK decision was an illegal act which was carried out under the pressure of the US and put the UK government and Gibraltar in unwanted adventurism.

From a legal point of view the UK act was so baseless that the senior officials of the UK and Gibraltar were unable to elaborate on their justification in interviews, he added.

He noted that based on some reports, they had to up-to-date their regulations some hours before the tanker moved Gibraltar.

The contrast between the UK act and Europe’s efforts to preserve Iran nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and also its contradiction with international regulations prevented UK’s allies from supporting them, Nasri said.

Stressing the fact that the UK act faced many criticisms from inside the conservative government, he said the media and the public opinion have so interpreted UK choice as unnecessary and provocative.

On the other hand, Iran showed that it knows how to take advantage of international law’s capacities to confront such measures and is at the same time aware of both preserving its diplomatic position, he said.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Nasri referred confiscating UK tanker in the Strait of Hormuz and the effect of this act on the UK to release Grace 1, Nasri said Iran has some rights in managing ships’ commute in the Strait of Hormuz about which it has so far shown restraint due to political and security considerations.

The Grace 1 incident indicated that the other side’s behavior can seriously affect these considerations and made Iran set aside restraint in line with realizing its rights and become stricter in managing these commutes, he said.

In response to the question whether UK recent choice will result in releasing their tanker by Iran, Nasri said naturally when despite US pressures, the UK has taken positive strides in line with the de-escalation of tensions, Iran will also be able to decide with more tolerance.   

He went on to say that releasing Grace 1 has resulted in both Iran’s legal victory against the UK and also a political triumph against the US.

The US’ illogical demand once again indicated US isolation and the rift between European states and the US as regards Iran and the unreasonable ill-wisher view of Trump administration.

Earlier, Iran's Ambassador to UK Hamid Baeidinejad in a message on Thursday confirmed the release of oil tanker Grace 1 late on Thursday.            

He said that following a decision by Gibraltar's officials, the illegal detention of an oil tanker carrying Iran's oil was lifted moments earlier.

Over the past 40 days, Iranian officials held regular dialogues at the legal, political and technical levels with the British side in a bid to remove the illegal seizure on the ship, Baeidinejad said.

The US was struggling to block the release of the tanker, but in defiance of its attempts, Gibraltar court issued a ruling to release the ship.

Arrangements for the tanker's movement to free water have been made earlier, as the ship "will leave Gibraltar soon".

The Gibraltar court decided to release the crew of the ship, but the US was trying to block the release of Grace 1.

Grace 1, a supertanker carrying Iranian oil, was seized earlier this month by British Royal Marines off the coast of the British Mediterranean territory of Gibraltar on suspicion of violating sanctions against Syria.

The seizure of tanker carrying Iranian oil drew a strong reaction from the Iranian officials.

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