Gibraltar said today it had obtained an order extending the detention of the Iranian Grace I supertanker by 14 days because there were grounds to believe it was breaking sanctions by taking oil to Syria, Reuters reported.
“The Supreme Court has issued today’s order on the basis that there are reasonable grounds to consider that the detention of the Grace 1 is required for the purposes of compliance with the EU Regulation 36/2012 on sanctions on Syria,” the government of the disputed British overseas territory on the southern tip of Spain said in a statement.
British Royal Marines seized the oil tanker yesterday accused it of violating EU sanctions and transferring oil to Syria.
Homayoun Falakshahi, Senior Analyst at London-based energy data firm Kpler told Reuters the ship had loaded Iranian crude in mid-April from Iran’s export port of Kharg Island.
A maritime intelligence source said the ship may have made the journey around Africa to avoid the Suez Canal, where such a large super-tanker would have had to unload its oil and refill after passing through, exposing its cargo to potential seizure.