Gibraltar denies seized Iranian tanker slated for release

MADRID — A senior official in Gibraltar is denying reports that an Iranian tanker seized near the British overseas territory is poised to be released.

The official says a report by Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency that the Grace 1 tanker is leaving tonight are “untrue.”

In this photo from July 6, 2019, supertanker Grace 1 is seen off the coast of Gibraltar. (Jorge Guerrero/AFP)

He speaks on condition of anonymity in line with government rules.

The tanker was seized last month in a British Royal Navy operation off Gibraltar, on the tip of southern Spain. It is suspected of violating European Union sanctions on oil shipments to Syria, and its seizure deepened international tensions in the Persian Gulf.

The Gibraltar government says it is seeking to “de-escalate” the situation over the Grace 1.

The Gibraltar Supreme Court is scheduled to hold a hearing on the case on Thursday.

— AP

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