Troops from the Royal Marines 42 Commando unit boarded the Iranian tanker Grace 1 using light speedboats today. The Royal Marines rappelled from a helicopter onto the deck while approximately 16 police officers from Gibraltar were also involved in the operation. Luckily no shots were fired and the ship is secure at the moment. Gibraltarian authorities suspect the Grace 1 to have broken European Union sanctions.

Fabian Picardo, Gibraltar’s chief minister, stated, “We have reason to believe that the Grace 1 was carrying its shipment of crude oil to the Banyas Refinery in Syria. That refinery is the property of an entity that is subject to European Union sanctions against Syria.”

The spokesman for the ministry of foreign affairs, Abbas Mousavi, indicated on Iranian state television that the Grace 1 was subject to an “illegal seizure.” The British ambassador was also summoned by the ministry to explain the situation.

More details to follow.

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