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Gibraltar Frees Iranian Tanker Despite U.S. Pressures Demands To Seize It

Unic Press UK: The national authorities of Gibraltar have released a 330 metre (1,000 feet) Iranian oil tanker, Adrian Darya 1, formerly known as Grace 1, which it seized July 5. The tanker is loaded with some 2.1 million barrels of oil on board was seized Gibraltar with the assistance of the British forces.

The release of the tanker follows the Government of Gibraltar rejection of U.S. demands that the tanker should remain seized.

In a statement ‘Further Mutual Legal Assistance Requests from the United States of America – 604/2019’ Sunday, the Government of Gibraltar said:

Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar can confirm that the Gibraltar Central Authority for matters relating to International Mutual Legal Assistance (namely, the Ministry for Justice) received a Supplemental Mutual Legal Assistance request from the US on 16th August 2019 providing further information in support of its application for the restraint of the departure from Gibraltar of the Grace 1 and its cargo of oil, in anticipation of forfeiture proceedings to be commenced in the United States.

“The Gibraltar Central Authority is unable seek an Order of the Supreme Court of Gibraltar to provide the restraining assistance required by the United States of America. The Central Authority’s inability to seek the Orders requested is a result of the operation of European Union law and the differences in the sanctions regimes applicable to Iran in the EU and the US. The EU sanctions regime against Iran – which is applicable in Gibraltar – is much narrower than that applicable in the US. The Gibraltar Central Authority for Mutual Legal Assistance enjoys a close working relationship with the equivalent authorities around the globe, in particular with the authorities of the United Kingdom, the Member States of the European Union and the United States.” 

When it was seized early July, the Chief Minister of Gibraltar Fabian Picardo had claimed that the vessel was carrying oil to Syria in violation of a European Union sanctions.

“We have reason to believe that the ‘Grace 1’ was carrying its shipment of crude oil to the Banyas Refinery in Syria. That refinery is the property of an entity that is subject to European Union sanctions against Syria. We have detained the vessel and its cargo.”

 

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