US asks Gibraltar to halt release of Iranian tanker

The United States requested that Gibraltar halt the release of a detained Iranian tanker on Thursday and turn the vessel over to US officials.

Read more: Germany and France condemn Iran's seizure of British tanker

"The US Department of Justice has applied to seize the Grace 1 on a number of allegations which are now being considered," the government of Gibraltar announced in a statement released Thursday.

The Gibraltar Chronicle reports that the last-minute request, from the US Department of Justice, has prompted the British territory's Supreme Court to hold off on an official decision on the tanker until later Thursday.

Read more: UK joins US in Strait of Hormuz naval mission

In July, the British Royal Navy led an operation to seize the tanker, Grace 1, on suspicion that it was violating EU sanctions on shipping oil to Syria.

mkg/rt (Reuters, AFP, dpa, AP)

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