1. Various of the tanker Grace 1 at sea off the coast of Gibraltar
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Charles Gomez, Local Barrister:
"Chief Justice was told, was shown documents to the effect that the Chief Minister had given notice that the ship is no longer a specified ship within the provisions of the EU sanctions. And as it is no longer such, a specified ship, there is no cause for its arrest and therefore the arrest has lapsed immediately.
Reporter: So it's going to be released?
It has already been released. In terms, in legal terms, from the minute that the judge made his order, literally minutes ago, that ship no longer has any compulsion to stay within the jurisdiction."
4. Various of the tanker Grace 1 at sea
5. Wide, Gibraltar
IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER MOHAMMED JAVID ZARIF VIA TWITTER-@Jzarif
Internet - 15 August 2019
6. Screenshot of a tweet from Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javid Zarif reading: (English) "Having failed to accomplish its objectives through its #EconomicTerrorism - including depriving cancer patients of medicine - the US attempted to abuse the legal system to steal our property on the high seas. This piracy attempt is indicative of Trump admin's contempt for the law."
Gibraltar on Thursday allowed a detained Iranian supertanker to leave the British overseas territory after a last-minute U.S. attempt to seize the vessel, potentially defusing tensions between London and Tehran as a British-flagged tanker remains held by the Islamic Republic.
The release of the Grace 1 comes after the U.S. under President Donald Trump pulled out of Iran's nuclear deal with world powers over a year ago, setting in motion a growing confrontation between Tehran and the West over its atomic program.
In past weeks, the Persian Gulf region has seen six attacks on oil tankers that the U.S. has blamed on Iran and the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone by Iranian forces. Iran has denied being behind the tanker attacks, though it has seized other tankers.
The Gibraltar Chronicle newspaper reported there was no U.S. application before the court when a hearing on the Grace 1 resumed Thursday afternoon, quoting the court's chief justice, Anthony Dudley. That allowed the ship to be freed.
That's a stark change from a morning hearing, which saw Gibraltar say the Justice Department sought to seize the vessel "on a number of allegations."
Dudley said that were it not for the U.S. move, "the ship would have sailed," the Chronicle reported.
The Justice Department did not respond to requests for comment.
The Grace 1, carrying 2.1 million barrels of Iranian crude, was seized last month in a British Royal Navy operation off Gibraltar. The vessel was suspected of violating European Union sanctions on Syria.
Tensions have escalated in the Persian Gulf region since Trump over a year ago unilaterally withdrew the U.S. from Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
The decision stopped billions of dollars' worth of business deals, largely halted the sale of Iran's crude oil internationally and sharply depreciated Iran's currency, the rial.
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