4 July 2019 Gibraltar authorities detain an oil tanker directed to Syria

On 4 July, Gibraltar authorities decided to block an oil tanker because “there was reason to believe the vessel was carrying Iranian crude oil to Syrian Baniyas refineries. The refinery is subjected to EU sanctions against Syria since 2014 in order to avoid financial help to Bashar Al-Assad’s regime. Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo declared that “Gibraltar remains safe, secure and committed to the international, rules-based, legal order,” and UK Prime Minister Theresa May welcomed the firm reaction of Gibraltar, according to a PM’s spokesperson. The UK Ambassador in Iran Robert Macaire has been summoned by Iranian authorities, according to Iranian state TV. The White House National Security Advisor John Bolton welcomed Gibraltar’s decision on Twitter: “Excellent news: UK has detained the supertanker Grace I laden with Iranian oil bound for Syria in violation of EU sanctions”.