Gibraltar Rejects US Pressure to Hold Iranian Oil Tanker
Authorities in Gibraltar on Sunday rejected the United States' latest request not to release a seized Iranian supertanker, clearing the way for the vessel to set sail after being detained last month for allegedly attempting to breach European Union sanctions on Syria.The ship was expected to leave Sunday night, according to a statement on Twitter by Hamid Baeidinejad, Iran's ambassador to Britain. The tanker's release comes amid a growing confrontation between Iran and the West after President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers over a year ago. Shortly after the tanker's detention in early July near Gibraltar — a British overseas territory — Iran seized the British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero, which remains held by the Islamic Republic. Analysts had said the Iranian ship's release by Gibraltar could see the Stena Impero go free. Gibraltar's government said Sunday it was allowing the Iranian tanker's release because "The EU sanctions regime against Iran — which is applicable in Gibraltar — is much narrower than that applicable in the US." In a last-ditch effort to stop the release, the U.S. unsealed a warrant Friday to seize the vessel and its cargo of 2.1 million barrels of light crude oil, citing violations of U.S. sanctions as well as money laundering and terrorism statutes. U.S. officials told reporters that the oil aboard the ship was worth some $130 million and that it was destined for a designated terror organization to conduct more terrorism. The unsealed court documents argued that Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps are the ship's true owners through a network of front companies. Authorities in Gibraltar said Sunday that, unlike in the U.S., the Iran's Revolutionary Guard is not designated a terrorist organization under EU, U.K. or Gibraltar law. The Iranian ship was... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Gibraltar Rejects US Pressure to Hold Iranian Oil Tanker, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you
Published By: VOA NEWS - Sunday, 18 August
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