Gibraltar says it took decision to detain Iranian tanker

FILE PHOTO: Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo delivers a statement at parliament in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, historically claimed by Spain, November 22, 2018. REUTERS/Jon Nazca/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) – Gibraltar said its action last week to detain Iranian tanker Grace 1 was a decision it took on its own and not at the behest of any other state or third party, the territory’s chief minister said on Friday.

“All relevant decisions in respect of this matter were taken only as a direct result of the government of Gibraltar having reasonable grounds to believe the vessel was acting in breach of established EU sanctions against Syria,” Fabian Picardo told parliament.

“There has been no political request at any time from any government that Gibraltar should act or not act on one basis or another.”

The vessel contained 2.1 million barrels of light crude oil, he said.

Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Michael Holden

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