Gibraltar rejects US pressure to hold Iranian oil tanker

Gibraltar Persian Gulf TensionGibraltar Persian Gulf Tension
A view of the Grace 1 super tanker with the name removed is seen in the British territory of Gibraltar, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. The shipping agent for an Iranian supertanker caught in a diplomatic standoff says the vessel is ready to depart Gibraltar in “24 to 48 hours,” despite a last-minute effort by the United States to seize it again. (AP Photo/Marcos Moreno)

MADRID (AP) — Authorities in Gibraltar say they are rejecting the United States’ renewed request that the British overseas territory not release an Iranian supertanker.

The vessel has been detained for over a month in Gibraltar for allegedly attempting to breach European Union sanctions on Syria.

In a statement Sunday, Gibraltar’s government said the ship would be free to go, as U.S. sanctions on Iran had no equivalent in the United Kingdom or the rest of the EU.

The U.S. had unsealed a warrant Friday to seize the vessel, a day after Gibraltar lifted the ship’s detention.

The vessel remains at anchor off Gibraltar, laden with 2.1 million barrels of Iranian light crude oil.

A new crew is expected to arrive and sail the tanker to an undisclosed destination as early as Sunday.

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