August 13, 2019 / 11:35 AM / in 8 days

Gibraltar government source denies tanker will leave on Tuesday

FILE PHOTO: Gibraltar defence police officers guard the Iranian oil tanker Grace 1 as it sits anchored after it was seized earlier this month by British Royal Marines off the coast of the British Mediterranean territory on suspicion of violating sanctions against Syria, in the Strait of Gibraltar, southern Spain July 20, 2019. REUTERS/Jon Nazca/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - A highly placed Gibraltarian government source denied on Tuesday an Iranian news agency report which said the Iranian oil tanker Grace 1 would be leaving the British overseas territory on Tuesday.

British Royal Marines seized the tanker on July 4 off the coast of the British Mediterranean territory of Gibraltar on suspicion of violating EU sanctions by taking oil to Syria, which Tehran denies.

Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency quoted unidentified Gibraltar authorities as saying the tanker would bee freed on Tuesday evening.

A senior Gibraltarian government source said that report was not correct. Earlier, Gibraltar said it was seeking to de-escalate the situation.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Michael Holden

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