The US is trying to stop the release of an Iranian tanker held on suspicion of smuggling oil to Syria, Gibraltar’s government has confirmed.
The US has applied to seize the Grace 1 tanker, which was commandeered by Royal Marines in the Mediterranean last month.
It was suspected of smuggling oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions.
“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 the British overseas territory said.
“The matter will return to the Supreme Court of Gibraltar at 4:00pm today (3pm UK time).”
Gibraltar had been due to release the vessel just hours before Washington’s application, the Gibraltar Chronicle newspaper reported.
The captain and three officers who were on board Grace One when it was seized have been released from arrest.
The seizure saw a ratcheting up of tensions with Iran, with the country’s Revolutionary Guards seizing the British-flagged Stena Impero in the Gulf.