عربي | كوردى



Gibraltar arrests captain, chief officer of Iran's tanker over breaching sanctions

Gibraltar arrests captain, chief officer of Iran's tanker over breaching sanctions

2019/07/12 | 18:15

(Hatha al-Youm | Iraq News)-

Police in Gibraltar have

arrested the captain and chief officer of the detained Iranian Grace 1

supertanker accused of violating EU sanctions on Syria.Documents and electronic

devices were also seized from the vessel during the operation. Last week British Royal Marines

boarded the tanker off Gibraltar and seized it on suspicion that it was

breaking EU sanctions by taking oil to Syria."The investigation is

still ongoing and the Grace 1 continues detained," police said in a

statement on Thursday. The two men, both

Indian nationals, were arrested on Thursday afternoon and

interviewed. Neither have been charged, according to

reports. In a statement, the Royal

Gibraltar Police said the arrests followed a "protracted" search of

the vessel, which remains in detention,The arrests come after Iranian boats tried to seize a British oil tanker in the

Gulf. Three vessels, believed to

belong to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, approached the tanker while it was

sailing through the Strait of Hormuz.But British warship HMS

Montrose, which reportedly had its 30mm deck guns trained on the boats, warned

them off over radio.A Ministry of Defence spokesman

said: "HMS Montrose was forced to position herself between the Iranian

vessels and British Heritage and issue verbal warnings to the Iranian vessels,

which then turned away.""We are concerned by this

action and continue to urge the Iranian authorities to de-escalate the

situation in the region."The Iranian Revolutionary

Guard, which is thought to have been operating the patrol boats, denied the

incident, saying if it had received orders to seize any ships it would have

done so immediately.It comes after Iranian

President Hassan Rouhani said Britain would face "consequences" over

the seizure of an Iranian tanker.The Department for Transport this week

raised its security level for British shipping sailing in Iranian waters to its

highest level, level three, meaning an incident is considered to be imminent.Vessels were advised to take

enhanced security measures and to avoid transiting through Iranian waters if at

all possible.Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt

described the developments as "very concerning" and said security in

the region was kept under constant review."We are constantly

monitoring security and constantly keeping under review the kind of security we

need to keep British shipping safe," he said.As well as the Montrose, the

Navy has four mine countermeasures vessels and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Cardigan Bay logistics ship in the region.With typically between 15 and

30 British-flagged merchant ships in Gulf waters on any one day, providing

individual escorts has been ruled out.











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