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US issues an order to seize the ‘Grace 1’ tanker

August 17, 2019

MADRID, Aug. 17 (EUROPE PRESS) –

The US Department of Justice has issued an order this Friday to seize the tanker 'Grace 1' for the “illegal use of the US financial system to support and finance the sale of petroleum products to Syria.”

Thus, this court order has ordered that “the vessel, all oil on board and $ 995,000 (about 896,896 euros) are subject to confiscation due to repeated violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) ) “.

The document alleges that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard of Iran (IRGC), which the US considers a terrorist organization, has a plan to “illegally access the United States financial system in order to support illegal shipments to Syria from Iran.”

This order has been issued hours after the Government of Gibraltar has given the green light to the Iranian oil tanker arrested in early July leaving the Rock after receiving Tehran's assurances that the cargo of crude oil transported will not be landed in Syria.

In a statement, the main minister, Fabian Picardo, justified his decision to lift the seizure of the ship, explaining that when this happened, on July 4, there was solid documentary evidence that 'Grace 1' was heading to Syria, but now It has received written guarantees from the Iranian Government that the 2.1 million barrels of crude oil it carries will not be landed in Syria.

The Gibraltar authorities retained 'Grace 1' on suspicion that he intended to bring oil to Syria, something that would contravene the sanctions imposed by the EU against the Bashar al Assad regime. Two weeks later, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard captured the British tanker 'Stena Impero'.