August 13, 2019 / 9:08 AM / 10 days ago

Gibraltar seeks to ease tanker standoff with Iran

FILE PHOTO: Iranian oil tanker Grace 1 sits anchored after it was seized earlier this month by British Royal Marines off the coast of the British Mediterranean territory on suspicion of violating sanctions against Syria, in the Strait of Gibraltar, southern Spain July 20, 2019. REUTERS/Jon Nazca

LONDON (Reuters) - Gibraltar said on Tuesday it was seeking to de-escalate issues arising with Iran since the detention of the Grace 1 tanker.

British Royal Marines seized the Iranian oil tanker on July 4 off the coast of the British Mediterranean territory of Gibraltar on suspicion of violating EU sanctions by taking oil to Syria, which Tehran denies.

“We continue to seek to de-escalate issues arising since the lawful detention of Grace 1,” a spokesman for Gibraltar said. The current detention order on the vessel expires on Saturday night, the spokesman said.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Michael Holden

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