Gibraltar refuses Trump administration request to seize Iranian tanker

Gibraltar refuses Trump administration request to seize Iranian tanker
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Gibraltar on Sunday reportedly refused a U.S. request to seize an Iranian tanker accused of smuggling oil to Syria.

Gibraltar said it couldn't comply with the U.S. Justice Department warrant issued Friday because it was bound by European Union (EU) law, Reuters reports

“The Central Authority’s inability to seek the Orders requested is a result of the operation of European Union law and the differences in the sanctions regimes applicable to Iran in the EU and the US,” Gibraltar's government said in a statement,  according to the news service. 

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“The EU sanctions regime against Iran – which is applicable in Gibraltar - is much narrower than that applicable in the US.”

The tanker, called the Grace 1, had been held in Gibraltar since last month on allegations of violating EU sanctions until authorities there approved its release on Thursday. 

The U.S. claims in the warrant that the Grace 1, all petroleum aboard the ship and $995,000 are subject to forfeiture. 

The Justice Department alleges in the complaint that Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) used the Grace 1 as part of a broader scheme to illicitly ship oil to Syria.