Iran protests ‘piracy’ after UK seizes tanker with Iranian oil bound for Syria off Gibraltar

Iran protests ‘piracy’ after UK seizes tanker with Iranian oil bound for Syria off Gibraltar
UK Royal Marines board Panama-flagged oil tanker Grace 1 off Gibraltar, 4 July 2019. UK Mod image

[Ed. – More to come on this. It’s a convoluted tale, the most interesting aspect of which may be that Iran is protesting.  It isn’t even Iran’s tanker — supposedly.]

A contingent of Royal Marines in a helicopter and inflatable boats boarded the Grace I off Gibraltar and took control of the 331-meter-long tanker in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Local media reports say the detained ship remains at anchor while the 28 crew members are being questioned and investigations continue. Under prevailing law the ship can be held for 72 hours before a court order extending the hold becomes necessary.

Europe and United States are deeply divided over sanctions against Iran, but reported U.S. prodding succeeded in getting Britain to take action against the ship, on the basis of the oil’s destination, not its origin.

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