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US faces humiliating defeat after Gibraltar releases Iranian tanker

Iranian Ambassador to London Hamid Ba’eidinejad said the release of an Iranian supertanker in Gibraltar in defiance of Washington’s last-minute request to detain the vessel, was “a humiliating defeat” for the US government.

“The US, with its forlorn last-ditch attempts, tried to prevent the release of Iranian oil tanker but faced a humiliating defeat,” Ba’eidinejad said on his Twitter account on Thursday night.

According to Tasnim news agency, he said “With the efforts over the past few days, all necessary preparations and technical arrangements have been made for the tanker to move to the high seas,” adding, “The ship will soon leave the Gibraltar region.”

The authorities in Gibraltar on Thursday released the Iranian vessel, Grace 1 (now known as Adrian Darya), defying a US request hours earlier to seize the ship. They also released the ship’s crew from detention.

On July 4, the British Royal Marines seized the giant Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar for allegedly trying to take oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions.

Tehran maintained that the supertanker was not bound for Syria and its seizure has taken place at the behest of the US.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry had summoned the British envoy to Tehran several times in protest at the UK navy’s move.

President Hassan Rouhani had warned London that it will definitely pay the price for the illegal seizure of Grace 1 in international waters.