Renewed tensions between London and Tehran

The situation has deteriorated rapidly for several hours between Great Britain and Iran, following the boarding and seizure of the 300.000 tonne tanker Grace1, flying the Iranian flag, and suspected of wanting to deliver crude oil to a Syrian refinery under European Union embargo. Immediately, the British ambassador in Tehran was summoned by the Iranian authorities, ordering him to free the vessel, failing which the country would take retaliatory measures against the British vessels crossing near its coasts.

According to the Gibraltar authorities who carried out the boarding, the Iranian ship was probably not carrying crude oil, but distilled products, ready for use, this explaining the particularly low waterline of the vessel, the distilled products being heavier than crude oil. Therefore, it could be a matter of supplying fuel to the Syrian and Iranian forces present on Syrian territory, and still involved in the civil war which is agitating the country, by transfer offshore to smaller vessels, responsible for bringing back the fuel to the country's ports.

In any case, if British tankers were to be intercepted by Iranian ships in response to the application of a European embargo, the European Union would be forced to harden its positions against Tehran, whereas until now, Brussels , Paris, Berlin and London, act more as moderating elements in this matter. Because if certain major European nations were to align themselves with Washington's positions, there is no doubt that the risks of confrontation would increase rapidly...

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