July 5, 2019– Mary Greeley News – British Royal Marines boarded an Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar on Thursday (July 4), seizing it on suspicion of being in violation of European Union (EU) sanctions against Syria.
Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo confirmed that the Grace 1 supertanker had been detained by the British Royal Marines in conjunction with Gibraltar port and law enforcement agencies on Thursday, CNN reports. Picardo went on to state that there is “reason to believe that the Grace 1 was carrying its shipment of crude oil to the Baniyas Refinery in Syria,” which is “the property of an entity that is subject to European Union sanctions against Syria.”
Spain’s acting foreign minister, Josep Borrell, claimed that the seizure was made at the request of White House National Security Advisor John Bolton. Bolton referred to the tanker’s seizure as “excellent news,” according to CNN.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mouvasi hit back at the U.K. for the tanker’s seizure, tweeting that it was “illegal” and would lead to an escalation of tensions in the Persian Gulf. Britain’s ambassador to Iran has been summoned over the incident, reported Iranian state-run media outlet Press TV.
The EU placed sanctions on Syria in 2011 in response to the indiscriminate killing of civilians by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
Mary Greeley News
credit: In part with https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3738947