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  • Iran denies oil tanker detained by Britain was carrying crude to Syria

    Published on July 7, 2019

    Iran has denied that an oil tanker detained by Britain in Gibraltar was carrying crude to Syria, which would put it in violation of EU sanctions. Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi told in a press conference in Tehran today that the tanker was carrying Iran’s oil and contrary to what the British government claims, its destination was not Syria. He said, the port named in Syria does not even have the capacity for such a supertanker to dock.

    The tanker, capable of carrying 2 million oil barrels, was halted in the early hours of Thursday by police and customs agencies in Gibraltar, a British overseas territory on Spain’s southern tip at the western entrance to the Mediterranean.

    The ship was detained 2.5 miles  south of Gibraltar in what it considers British waters, although Spain, which lays claim to the territory, says they are Spanish.

    Araghchi said, the tanker was crossing the Strait of Gibraltar because its high capacity meant it was not possible for it to pass through the Suez Canal. He insisted the tanker was intercepted in international waters and accused Britain’s Royal Navy of committing maritime piracy.