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Gibraltar allows release of Iranian tanker Grace 1

Christian Fernsby |
Gibraltar’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday to release an Iranian supertanker seized last month on suspicion of shipping oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions, despite a last-minute US request to detain the vessel.

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Topics: GRACE    IRAN    TANKER   

Chief Justice Anthony Dudley said that since Iran had guaranteed in writing that the Grace 1 “was never destined to an EU sanctioned entity… there are no longer reasonable grounds to suspect that the detention of the vessel is required.”

Earlier on Thursday, the Gibraltar government confirmed media reports that the US Justice Department sought to extend the Grace 1’s detention, prompting the court to adjourn a hearing to discuss the request from Washington.

But the Gibraltar Chronicle newspaper reported that there was no US application before the court when the hearing was held, quoting Dudley. That allowed the ship to be freed.

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