Iran promptly denies initial report that tanker was taken over by 'Revolutionary Guards'

Iran promptly denies initial report that tanker was taken over by 'Revolutionary Guards'
The Iranian tanker was seized by Gibraltar last month when it was reportedly carrying oil to Syria.
2 min read
21 August, 2019
Iran renamed the tanker as it left Gibraltar [Getty]
A tanker released by Gibraltar authorities this week has been taken over by the Revolutionary Guards, Iranian state media reported on Wednesday.

"It is worth noting that the Grace 1 vessel, renamed Adrian Darya after the seizure, is a Korean-made oil tanker owned by Russia which is currently leased to the Revolutionary Guards," Iran's semi-official ILNA reported.

Moments later the agency denied the report, saying the tanker had leased to an Iranian shipping company and not the elite branch of the armed forces, according to Reuters.

The US has issued a warrant for the seizure of the tanker, due to its classification of Iran's Revolutionary Guards as a "terrorist organisation".

The news agency quickly corrected the report.

"The Grace 1 vessel, renamed Adrian Darya after the seizure, is a Korean-made oil tanker owned by Russia which is currently leased to one Iran's shipping lines," INLA reported.

The British territory of Gibraltar was seized on 4 July, accused of planning to ship oil to Syria, breaching EU sanctions.

The incident led to a tense stand-off between Iran and the UK, with Tehran seizing a British tanker in Gulf waters.

The tanker was authorised to leave the British territory by Gibraltar authorities after assurances were made that the oil would not be delivered to Syria.

This led the US to issue a warrant for the seizure of the tanker.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday called Gibraltar's decision to release the tanker as "very unfortunate".

Tehran warned that it any attempt by the US to seize the tanker would have "grave consequences".

 
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