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AFP
August 17, 2019

US threatens visa ban on crew of Iran tanker

World

AFP
August 17, 2019

WASHINGTON: The United States late on Thursday threatened a visa ban on the crew of a seized Iranian supertanker whose departure from Gibraltar Washington failed to block.

State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said the Grace 1 was assisting Iran’s Revolutionary Guards -- which the US deems a terrorist organisation -- by transporting oil from Iran to Syria when it was detained last month.

"Crewmembers of vessels assisting the IRGC (Revolutionary Guard Corps) by transporting oil from Iran may be ineligible for visas or admission to the United States under the terrorism-related inadmissibility grounds," Ortagus said.

"The maritime community should be aware that the US government intends to revoke visas held by members of such crews. "In the case of the M/T Grace I, we will continue to act consistent with our existing policies concerning those who provide material support to the IRGC."

Gibraltar’s Supreme Court earlier on Thursday ruled in favour of releasing the vessel seized on suspicion of shipping oil to war-torn Syria in breach of international sanctions. Hours before the announcement, the US had launched a last-minute legal move demanding that the British overseas territory detain the ship.

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