Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt earlier attempted to de-escalate the UK-Iran situation in the Gulf by saying an Iranian-owned oil tanker seized by the British off Gibraltar 10 days ago might be released if Tehran pledged the ship’s owners would abandon plans to unload oil in Syria.
“Iran is still a good year away from developing a nuclear bomb. There is still some closing, but small window to keep the deal alive,” he said.
Earlier, in a phone call to the Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif on Saturday, the candidate vying to replace outgoing PM Theresa May made an effort to defuse the heated situation around the recent UK-Iran standoff in the Gulf, claiming the Iranian oil tanker being held by UK authorities in Gibraltar would be released if there was a guarantee from Tehran it was not heading to Syria.
© AFP 2019 / JORGE GUERRERO
A picture shows supertanker Grace 1 off the coast of Gibraltar on July 6, 2019
After speaking with Hunt, the Iranian foreign minister said Iran should be allowed to sell oil to any country it wished, branding the UK seizure of Grace 1 nothing short of an act of piracy, as Iranian government sources insisted the tanker was not bound for Syria.
The three European signatories to the…