US issues warrant for seizure of Iranian oil tanker

Mail Online | 8/17/2019 | Emer Scully For Mailonline
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A warrant demanding the seizure of an Iranian tanker released by a judge in Gibraltar just 24 hours ago has been issued by the US Justice Department.

Grace 1, an Iranian oil tanker seized by Royal Marines over accusations it was supplying oil to Syria, had been held in Gibraltar since July 4 but left British territory yesterday.

Hours - US - Government - Seizure - Vessel

And just 24 hours later the US government has intervened to try to enforce another seizure of the vessel.

The British overseas territory was expected to release the Grace 1 last Thursday, but the US intervened at the last minute.

Time - Grace - Tehran - London - Washington

At the time Grace 1 was stormed Tehran accused London of doing Washington's bidding.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard then captured the British-flagged Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz on July 19.

US - Grace - Barrels - Oil - Tanker

The US says it can seize Grace 1 and the 2.1million barrels of oil it is carrying. They claim the tanker was violating terrorism statutes and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

But a spokesman for the Justice Department said: 'A seizure warrant is merely an allegation.'

Grace - Release - President - Donald - Trump

The Grace 1's release comes after President Donald Trump pulled the US out of Iran's nuclear deal with world powers over a year ago, setting in motion a growing confrontation between Tehran and the West over its atomic programme.

After the US initially blocked Grace 1's release last week it was not immediately clear on what legal grounds they had acted. The Department of Justice declined to comment.

Court - Americans - Assistance - Gibraltar - Chronicle

The court was told the Americans were asking for mutual legal assistance, the Gibraltar Chronicle reported.

The tanker's captain and three officers were released from custody last Thursday and the application of the Attorney General's lawyer had been for no further detention.

Joseph - Triay - Attorney - General - Michael

Joseph Triay, for Attorney General Michael Llamas QC, told the court: 'This application was to have taken a very different...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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