Gibraltar Court Extends Iranian Tanker Detention for 30 Days
By Staff, Agencies
The Gibraltar Supreme Court ruled Friday that a seized Iranian tanker that was shipping oil as aid to Syria will be detained for 30 more days, the British territory's attorney general said.
The Grace 1 supertanker, carrying 2.1 million barrels of oil, was detained by British Royal Marines and Gibraltar's police on July 4 as it transited through waters claimed by Gibraltar, which is located on Spain's southern tip.
An initial order by the court authorizing the detention of the vessel would lapse after Friday. The order can be renewed for up to 90 days.
"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," Gibraltar's Chief Minister Fabian Picardo told the territory's parliament.
Picardo said Thursday he had a "constructive and positive" meeting with Iranian officials in London aimed at defusing tensions around the detention of the tanker in the British territory's waters.
Gibraltar and US officials believed the tanker was destined for Syria to deliver oil, in violation of separate sets of EU and US sanctions.
Iran termed the action as "piracy" and warned it would not let the interception go unanswered.