(Worthy News) - An Iranian oil tanker held for over a month by British authorities was released Thursday, despite a legal bid by the U.S. to take over the seizure.
Grace 1, which authorities pinned as carrying oil to the government of Bashar Al-Assad in Syria in defiance of European Union sanctions, was detained by the British Royal Marines off the coast of Gibraltar on July 4, prompting Iran to seize the British tanker Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz two weeks later as retaliation.
"A strait for a strait. It can't be that the Strait of Hormuz is free for you and the Strait of Gibraltar is not free for us," Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said at the time, echoing calls on the other side from British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt for the establishment of a European maritime security force designed to stave off Iranian aggression.
Over the course of two months in May and June, Iran bombed or intimidated Saudi Arabian, Emirati, Norwegian, and Japanese oil tankers in or near its territorial waters in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman.
The bellicose response of the Islamic Republic to U.S. President Trump’s war of sanctions against Iranian oil has, according to unnamed Trump Administration sources who spoke to the Wall Street Journal, led to unprecedented secret meetings between the U.S., Israel, and Gulf States like the United Arab Emirates over the last few months aimed at mounting an opposition to Iran.