Gibraltar says Iran tanker can leave when ready, US legal block still looms

Seized Iranian tanker Grace 1 is able to leave as soon as it is ready, says Chief Minister of Gibraltar Fabian Picardo. (File photo: AFP)

An Iranian tanker detained in Gibraltar for breaching EU sanctions could be allowed to leave on Friday, though a last minute US legal bid to halt it could yet end up back in court, the territory’s first minister said.

Gibraltar decided on Thursday to free the tanker, but did not immediately indicate when or if the ship would set sail after the United States launched a last-minute legal bid to hold it.

“She is able to leave as soon as she organizes the logistics necessary in order to sail a ship of that size wherever it’s going next,” Fabian Picardo told BBC Radio. “Could be today, could be tomorrow.”

Asked about the US request, he said: “Those will be determinations made purely objectively and independently by those authorities and then subject to once again the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Gibraltar. It could go back to the court absolutely.”

The chief minister added that he expects Iran to act in keeping with what it has said and that he doubts the tanker will end up in Syria.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:00 - GMT 07:00
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