British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Monday that there was no question of swapping the Iranian tanker seized by Britain off Gibraltar for the British tanker held by Iran in the Straits of Hormuz.
Iran had seized the Stena Impero, a British-flagged Swedish oil tanker, on 19 July, two weeks after the British authorities detained the Iranian tanker, Grace 1, off Gibraltar.
Asked by the BBC whether the U.K. planned a swap to resolve the crisis, since Tehran had stated last week that it was open to such an operation, Raab said no. “This is not about some kind of barter,” he said. “This is about international law and the rules of the international legal system being upheld.”
Raab insisted that the cases of the two tankers could not be compared. The Grace 1 was intercepted because it violated EU sanctions and was headed for Syria with oil while the Stena Impero was detained “illegally”, he said.
Tehran has denied that its tanker was taking oil to Syria.