The Iranian Grace 1 oil tanker, which was recently detained by law enforcement agencies of Gibraltar for allegedly violating international sanctions on Syria, is reportedly controlled by a Russian company, Iranian Mehr News Agency reported on Friday.
The media did not specify the source of this information but noted that the company that owns the tanker was named Russian Titan Shipping Line and registered in the United Arab Emirates.
On Thursday, the government of Gibraltar, a UK overseas territory, said it had detained a tanker loaded with two million barrels of crude oil at the request of the United States. Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said that his government “had reasons to believe” that the tanker was headed to the Banyas Refinery in Syria, which belongs to an entity that is subject to the EU sanctions against Syria.
Following the incident, the Iranian Foreign Ministry protested the seizure of the oil tanker to UK Ambassador to Tehran Rob Macaire. At the same time, US National Security Adviser John Bolton described the development as “excellent news.”