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Iranian tanker leaves Gibraltar after territory rejects US demand

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The Iranian supertanker detained last month on suspicion of hauling oil to Syria in violation of European sanctions set sail from Gibraltar waters after being released by the British territory.

[LONDON]  The Iranian supertanker detained last month on suspicion of hauling oil to Syria in violation of European sanctions set sail from Gibraltar waters after being released by the British territory.

According to a tweet sent by GBC News, the ship is moving into international waters. It has been renamed the Adrian Darya, the tweet said.

Gibraltar rejected an attempt by the US to block the ship's release on Sunday. The territory's Supreme Court determined the Trump administration, which issued a warrant to seize the tanker, hadn't filed the appropriate action to prevent that from happening.

It remains to be seen what will happen to the vessel now. The US said it was gravely disappointed with Britain after Gibraltar's release of the tanker, and it warned that ports, banks and anyone else who does business with the vessel or its crew might be subject to sanctions, according to two administration officials.

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British forces seized the vessel on July 4 on suspicion that it was hauling Iranian crude to Syria. Iran has maintained that the detention was unlawful. The incident is one of several in recent months that have strained relations between Iran and the West, following the US reinstatement of sanctions on the Persian Gulf state last year.

A new crew for the ship had been scheduled to arrive in Gibraltar on Sunday, Richard de la Rosa, managing director of the vessel's shipping agent Astralship, said. Iran previously said the ship would head to a port in the Mediterranean.

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