Gibraltar extends detention of Iranian tanker to August 15

Gibraltar extends detention of Iranian tanker to August 15

"At a private meeting of the Supreme Court on an application by the Attorney General, the Court has extended the period of detention of the vessel, Grace 1, for a further 30 days and has set a new hearing for 15 August 2019", the Gibraltar government said on Friday (July 19).

"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.

The Sun reported that Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused Britain of "piracy" after the Royal Marines seized a supertanker believed to be carrying Iranian crude oil to Syria on July 5.

Their phone call Friday came just as Iran's Revolutionary Guard was announcing that it had seized a British oil tanker in Strait of Hormuz.

In a statement, Picardo's government said the meeting took place on Wednesday and to discuss the continued detention of the Grace One tanker "and to seek to de-escalate all aspects of the issues arising".

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He has called for the immediate release of the oil tanker Grace 1, which was detained on suspicion it was breaking European sanctions by taking oil to Syria.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps says it has seized a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, for what it described as a violation of global maritime regulations.

Iran denied that its vessels had done any such thing.

"The IRGC seized the tanker at the request of the maritime authorities in the Iranian province of Hormozgan for "not following worldwide maritime regulations", state television cited an IRGC statement as saying".

It was believed to be the first USA military engagement with Iran following a series of increasingly serious incidents.

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