US threat still looms as Iran tanker sets to leave Gibraltar

8/16/2019 4:15:00 PM

"It could go back to the court absolutely," Picardo said Friday, speaking with BBC Radio.

He said a decision on the matter would be made "objectively and independently" by related authorities and could then "be subject to once again the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Gibraltar".

His remarks came even as a senior Iranian shipping official said Friday the tanker, released by Gibraltar authorities after being held since July 4, is preparing to set sail into the Mediterranean.

The Grace 1 will be renamed and switch to the Iranian flag for its onward journey, the deputy head of Iran's Ports and Maritime Organisation, Jalil Eslami, said.

"At the owner's request, the Grace 1 will depart for the Mediterranean after being reflagged under the Islamic Republic of Iran's flag and renamed as Adrian Darya for the voyage," Eslami said.

The ship, the official said, was of Russian origin and Panama-flagged and was carrying two million barrels of Iranian oil.

Picardo also stressed that the vessel was free to set sail on Friday, despite the looming US plea.

"She is able to leave as soon as she organizes the logistics necessary in order to sail a ship of that size wherever it's going next," he said. "Could be today, could be tomorrow."

On Thursday, Gibraltar's Supreme Court pushed forward with the vessel's release after throwing out Washington's last-minute request to withhold the tanker. 

Source: PressTV

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