The arrest of the captain of the Iranian oil tanker detained in Gibraltar News -

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Police in Gibraltar arrested Thursday the captain of the Iranian oil tanker Grace 1, which was seized by the authorities in the British region last Thursday, in addition to his aide. He is being heard and assisted by two Indians at Gibraltar Police Headquarters. However, they have not yet been charged, according to a police statement.

The police said in a statement that their arrest was carried out on Thursday after "a search of the ship during which documents and electronic devices were seized and inspected." Their arrest comes amid rising tensions with Tehran, while London says that Iranian boats tried, on Wednesday evening, to prevent the passage of a British tanker in the Strait of Hormuz.

Gibraltar's Royal Navy Police and Customs arrested the Grace 330 ship, which can carry 2 million barrels of oil, on 4 July. The Gibraltar authorities say the shipment was on its way to Syria, in violation of European sanctions on Damascus.

The authorities obtained a decision to hold the carrier for 14 days, until 19 July. The reservation can be extended for 90 days.

Iran, which described what happened as "piracy", denied that the carrier was heading to Syria. Iranian President Hassan Rowhani also warned Britain of what it described as the "consequences" of its decision to hold the oil tanker. A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guard official warned Washington and London: "You will be very hard".

In the context of escalating tension, the British government confirmed that Iranian boats tried on Wednesday evening to "prevent the passage" of a British tanker in the Straits of Hormuz, before the intervention of the Royal Navy. Iran has been quick to deny any confrontation with a British ship in the past 24 hours.

A British naval force intercepted the carrier last week off Gibraltar and detained it on suspicion of violating European sanctions by transferring oil to Syria.

AH / ZA (AFP)

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