Britain seizes Iranian oil tanker over Syria sanctionsChristian Fernsby ▼ | July 4, 2019
British Royal Marines seized a giant Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar for trying to take oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions.
World The Grace 1 tanker was impounded in the British territory
Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned the British ambassador to voice “its very strong objection to the illegal and unacceptable seizure” of its ship. The diplomatic gesture lifted any doubt over Iran’s ownership of the vessel, which flies a Panama flag and is listed as managed by a company in Singapore.
The Gibraltar government said it had reasonable grounds to believe that the Grace 1 was carrying crude oil to the Baniyas refinery in Syria.
“That refinery is the property of an entity that is subject to European Union sanctions against Syria,” Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said. “With my consent, our port and law enforcement agencies sought the assistance of the Royal Marines in carrying out this operation.”
Iran has summoned the British ambassador in Tehran to complain about what it says is the illegal seizure of an Iranian oil tanker. ■