MADRID — The latest on Iranian supertanker at center of Persian Gulf tensions (all times local):
The U.S. government says it has a warrant to seize an oil tanker at the center of a diplomatic standoff because of violations of U.S. sanctions, money laundering and terrorism statutes.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Washington says a seizure warrant and forfeiture complaint were unsealed Friday.
The U.S. is seeking to take control of the oil tanker Grace 1, along with all of the petroleum aboard and $995,000. The ship is now in Gibraltar.
The U.S. alleges a scheme to unlawfully access the U.S. financial system to support shipments to Syria by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The corps has been designated by the U.S. as a foreign terrorist organization.
Court documents allege the ship made deceptive voyages and a network of front companies helped launder millions of dollars.
A lawyer representing the captain of an Iranian supertanker caught in a diplomatic standoff says his client no longer wants to be in command of the ship, which is in need of repairs that could prevent its immediate departure from Gibraltar.
The tanker and its cargo of 2.1 million tons of Iranian light crude oil remain lay at anchor off the British overseas territory Friday, a day after authorities lifted a detention order for breaching European Union sanctions.
The U.S. tried to stop the release but Gibraltar officials say Iranian authorities promised not to deliver the fuel to a sanctioned refinery in Syria.
A lawyer for three crew members released from detention said Friday the Indian national who captained the Grace 1 has asked his Iranian employers to replace him.
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