Gibraltar Extends to August 15 Detention of Iranian Tanker
Gibraltar will continue to impound an Iranian oil tanker until August 15 after its supreme court granted a 30-day extension to authorities, the Gibraltar Chronicle newspaper said.
The paper said Gibraltar’s Attorney General, Michael Llamas, had confirmed the decision.
The Grace 1 was seized earlier this month by British Royal Marines off the coast of the British Mediterranean territory on suspicion of violating sanctions against Syria.
British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt said Britain would facilitate the release of the Grace 1 if Iran gave guarantees that the tanker would not go to Syria, once the issue had followed due process in Gibraltar’s courts.
On Thursday, Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo held a “constructive and positive” meeting with Iranian officials in London to discuss the tanker.
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Saturday that Britain will facilitate the release the ship if Iran can provide guarantees the vessel will not breach the sanctions.
Iran has vowed to respond to what it calls Britain’s “piracy” over the seizure of the tanker and warned of reciprocal measures.
Last week, London said three Iranian vessels tried to block a British-owned tanker passing through the Strait of Hormuz, but backed off when confronted by a Royal Navy warship.
Iran denied that its vessels had done any such thing.