Gibraltar police arrest captain, officer of detained Iran tanker Grace 1

A British Royal Navy ship (back R) patrols near supertanker Grace 1 suspected of carrying crude oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions after it was detained off the coast of Gibraltar on July 4, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 12 July 2019
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Gibraltar police arrest captain, officer of detained Iran tanker Grace 1

  •  Gibraltar police have arrested the Indian captain and chief officer of a seized Iranian tanker suspected of breaching EU sanctions by shipping oil to Syria
  • The two men, both Indian nationals, were arrested on Thursday afternoon but neither have been charged

GIBRALTAR: Gibraltar police have arrested the Indian captain and chief officer of a seized Iranian tanker suspected of breaching EU sanctions by shipping oil to Syria, Royal Gibraltar Police said Thursday.
"This follows a protracted search of the vessel where documents and electronic devices have been seized and examined," police said in a statement.
Gibraltar police are interviewing both men, who have "been accorded their legal entitlements and access to consular representation," it added.
Gibraltar forces and British marines boarded the ship, Grace 1, and seized it on July 4 off the coast of Gibraltar, saying they believed it to be destined for Syria to deliver oil, which is subject to European sanctions.
Tests have shown the 330 metre (1,000 feet) tanker which is capable of carrying two million barrels of oil, was "carrying a full load of crude oil", the government of Gibraltar said Monday.
Iran has condemned the detention as an "illegal interception" and said the tanker was not headed to Syria.
The arrests come after London said earlier on Thursday that armed Iranian boats tried to "impede" a UK supertanker in the Gulf before being warned off by a British warship.
Iran's Revolutionary Guards denied involvement but also cautioned both the United States and Britain that they would "strongly regret" the UK Royal Marines' detention of the Grace 1.
Gibraltar police said the investigation was still on-going and the tanker remained detained.


Jordan king says Israeli annexation would be a disaster

Updated 18 September 2019

Jordan king says Israeli annexation would be a disaster

  • Abdullah said “we’re looking on this with tremendous concern.”

Jordan’s King Abdullah said on Tuesday that if Israel went ahead with the idea of annexing all the settlements in the West Bank it would be a “disaster” for attempts to find any two-state solution with the Palestinians.

Speaking after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Abdullah said he was “extremely concerned” about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s vow to annex all the West Bank settlements.

He said it will “directly impact” the relationship between Israel and Jordan, and Israel and Egypt, and that “these types of statements are ... a disaster to any attempt to move forward to the two-state solution.”

Merkel agreed, calling Netanyahu’s vow “unhelpful.” The German government backs an internationally negotiated peace solution in the sense of a two state solution ... annexations are always detrimental to peace solutions. They do not help and therefore we do not agree, said Merkel

Abdullah said “we’re looking on this with tremendous concern.”

Opinion

This section contains relevant reference points, placed in (Opinion field)

Netanyahu’s career was on the line on Tuesday as Israel held its second national election this year, with voters deciding whether to give him another term in office despite a likely indictment on corruption charges.

The longest serving leader in Israeli history was seeking a fourth consecutive term in office and fifth overall. 

But he faced a stiff challenge from retired military chief Benny Gantz, whose centrist Blue and White party is running even with Netanyahu’s Likud. 

Both parties could struggle to form a majority coalition with smaller allies, though, forcing them into a potential unity government.