Gulf crisis: story began with UK's seizure of Iranian-flagged ship in Gibraltar | The Guardian

by Faiz Ahmed last modified 2019-07-22T10:54:01-04:00
"To the Iranian eye, the British action had nothing to do with an EU embargo, and everything to do with an desire to support the US squeeze on Iranian oil exports, the quickest route to bringing the Iranian economy to its knees. Some reports estimate that Iranian exports are down to 200,000 barrels a month. Britain’s efforts to extricate itself started to emerge at the weekend, when Jeremy Hunt, the foreign secretary, rang his Iranian opposite number, Javad Zarif, and said the ship could be released if there was an undertaking that the ship would no longer travel to Syria. ... Instead – to the frustration of the Iranians – at a briefing hearing on Friday morning, the Gibraltar court extended the detention of the Grace 1 for 30 days. The 2.1m barrels of oil remain in British hands. ... In the end, the British-flagged tanker was a sitting duck, and now the consequences are plain for all to see. Not just oil, but crew are now hostage, and diplomats can only ponder in retrospect whether the right judgments were made."
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