Gibraltar Court Extends Detention of Iranian Oil Tanker Grace 1

tankerIllustration; Source: Unsplash/Shaah Shahidh

Gibraltar’s Supreme Court has extended the period of detention of the Iranian crude oil carrier Grace 1 for a further 30 days.

The new hearing has been set for August 15, 2019, the government of the British Overseas Territory said in a statement.

In early July, Gibraltar authorities and British Royal Marines detained the 300,000 dwt tanker on suspicion it was carrying a shipment of crude oil to Syria.

Laboratory tests later confirmed that Grace 1 had 2.1 million barrels of light crude oil on board.

The ship was arrested due to the alleged breach of EU sanctions against Syria. Although Gibraltar claimed it is enforcing the existing sanctions, Iran described the seizure as unlawful as the country is not an EU member.

Earlier this week, Gibraltar and UK officials met with Iranian officials in London to discuss matters related to Grace 1 and to “seek to de-escalate all aspects of the issues arising”.

The Gibraltar government said the meeting was “constructive and positive”, without revealing any further details.

“We look forward to continuing to work constructively and positively with officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran to facilitate the release of the Grace 1 pursuant to the satisfaction of all legal requirements,” Fabian Picardo, Chief Minister of Gibraltar, pointed out.

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