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Gibraltar denies that it detained Iranian tanker at the behest of third party 

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi Jul 12, 2019, 04.07 PM (IST)

Gibraltar said on Friday that they have decided to detain the Iranian tanker Grace 1 on its own and ruled out any involvement of any other state or third party. 

"All relevant decisions in respect of this matter were taken only as a direct result of the government of Gibraltar having reasonable grounds to believe the vessel was acting in breach of established EU sanctions against Syria," the territory's chief minister Fabian Picardo told parliament.

"There has been no political request at any time from any government that Gibraltar should act or not act on one basis or another."

The Grace 1 was seized by British Royal Marines off the coast of Gibraltar on suspicion of violating sanctions against Syria.

The vessel contained 2.1 million barrels of light crude oil, Picardo said.

Iran has demanded that Britain release the ship and denies that it was taking oil to Syria in violation of sanctions. The affair has led to an increase in tension in the Gulf, with Britain saying on Thursday that it fended off Iranian ships that tried to block a British tanker.

Tehran blames the United States for arranging to have its ship seized. 

Washington has imposed sanctions against Iran with the aim of halting all Iranian oil exports. European countries do not have sanctions against Iran, but have had them in place against Iran's ally Syria since 2011.