U.K. releases seized Iranian tanker despite U.S. demands not to
An Iranian oil tanker seized by British Royal Marines off the coast of Gibraltar in July has been released, despite protests by the U.S. government.
Suspected of violating E.U. sanctions regarding oil shipments to Syria, the ship -known as Grace 1- was seized by the U.K. and detained in Gibraltar.
Earlier this week, Gibraltar’s chief minister, Fabian Picardo, claimed there was no reason to keep the ship and that releasing it would be an act of goodwill.
“In light of the assurances we have received, there are no longer any reasonable grounds for the continued legal detention of the Grace 1,” he said.
According to NBC News, the U.S. Department of Justice had applied to seize the vessel, citing several allegations.
Picardo, however, referred to his legal authorities on the matter.
“That is a matter for our independent Mutual Legal Assistance authorities who will make an objective, legal determination of that request for separate proceedings,” he said.
The Iranian tanker captain and his three officers have also been released.
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