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Gibraltar Released Iran Oil Tanker

Gasoil News - Published on Mon, 19 Aug 2019

Image Source: SCMP
Iran is racing to return an oil supertanker to international waters after a Gibraltar judge said he couldn’t wait for the US to take action that would prolong the six-week seizure of the vessel for allegedly violating trade sanctions. The ship, the Grace 1, had been held in Gibraltar after British forces detained it last month on suspicion of hauling Iranian crude oil to Syria. While the US sought to block the vessel’s release, the Gibraltar Supreme Court on Thursday said American authorities didn’t put in a legal application. Iran provided assurance that the ship wouldn’t sail to a sanctioned destination.

“In light of the assurances we have received, there are no longer any reasonable grounds for the continued legal detention of the Grace 1 in order to ensure compliance” with European sanctions, the Gibraltar government said in an emailed statement.

The decision now essentially sets up a race between Iran and the U.S. over the ship’s fate. The vessel is now on its way to a port in the Mediterranean, Iran’s Mehr news agency said, citing Jalil Eslami, deputy for maritime affairs at the Iranian ports and maritime organization.

The Gibraltar government said in its statement that “Separately, the United States Department of Justice has requested that a new legal procedure for the detention of the vessel should be commenced. That is a matter for our independent Mutual Legal Assistance authorities who will make an objective, legal determination of that request for separate proceedings.”

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Posted By : Sanju Moirangthem on Mon, 19 Aug 2019
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